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This Translation is based on that ok Davidson. 



Since an English version of Virgil's ^Vorks first appeared 
in Bohn's Series, much has been done both by Foreign and 
by British scholars to amend the Latin text, and to bring 
out more clearly the poet's meaning in the many obscure 
phrases and sentences which occur in his writings. These 
results of modern scholarship I have endeavoured to em- 
body in this Translation, which may be said to be almost a 
new one. In doing so I have followed the text of Coning- 
ton's latest edition, revised by the late Mr Nettleship, as it 
is the one which presents the most approved MS. readings, 
and which will, no doubt, be most generally adopted in the 
future. I have not, however, invariably kept to Conington's 

In dealing with passages of disputed interpretation I have 
given that explanation which seemed to me most consistent 
w'ith common-sense, and which has the sanction of the most 
judicious commentators. I have occasionally mentioned in 
the notes other views worthy of careful consideration, but 
those who take an interest in such discussions should consult 
a good annotated edition. 

In preparing the Translation, I have endeavoured to avoid, 
on the one hand, a very literal and bald rendering, and, on 
the other, too great freedom of expression, and unwarranted 
deviation from Virgil's words. My aim has been to produce 
a version which shall be suitable for general English reading, 
and which shall, at the same time, afford all reasonable help 
to those classical students who may find difficulties of con- 



struction which they cannot overcome by themselves. To 
meet the case of these two classes of readers is not an easy 
matter in dealing with any ancient classical author, and with 
none more so than with Virgil, who exhibits peculiarities 
specially his own. He uses adjectives in all varieties of 
application and in all shades of signification, sometimes 
indeed containing two or more ideas, so that it is often 
impossible to find an exact English equivalent ; while his 
phrases are so pregnant with meaning and so suggestive, 
and his poetic turns of expression so ingenious and so 
extraordinary, as to be incapable of reproduction in terse 
and idiomatic prose. Some of these are commented on in 
the notes. 

A. Hamilton Bryce. 

Edinburgh, 1894. 


Among a warlike and conquering people like the Romans 
the public deeds of men prominent in the camp or in the 
senate were of infinitely greater importance to their fellow- 
citizens than the incidents of their private life and their 
domestic relationships. Hence there are, generally speak- 
ing, few materials from which to construct a satisfactory 
biography, in the modern sense of the term, of even the 
greatest soldiers and statesmen of ancient days. Much 
more so is this the case in dealing with the history of one 
who led the life of a student, and who kept aloof from the 
bustle of the law courts and the turmoil of political strife. 
Such a one had no opportunity of attracting the attention of 
his contemporaries, at least in his earlier days, by any act 
of a kind which might induce men to be curious about his 
origin, his family, and his career. He was not one of those 
who promised 

Sjhi cunt 
I»iperhu?ifore, et Italiavi, el delubra deoriiiit. 

and therefore the public were not anxious to enquire 

Quo pat re sit natiis, nuni i;^uola viatrc in/ioiicst?is. 

The fame of such silent workers as Virgil was, is rather 
posthumous than immediate and present. This remark 
applies to our poet with especial fitness and force. Born of 
humble parents, brought up in the retirement and obscurity 
of the country, possessed of a disposition both timid and 
bashful, he had not the means or the chance of appearing to 
advantage, or of making for himself a place among the rising 
young men of Rome. Thus we know little of his early years, 
and of the successive steps by which he rose to deserved 

There is extant a Life of \'irgil ancient]}- attributed to an 


obscure grammarian, Tiberius Claudius Donatus, but now 
believed by modern scholars to have been really the work 
of the_ well known historian C. Tranquillus Suetonius. 
Suetonius lived about loo years or rather more after Virgil's 
death, and had access to the records which told of him, 
such as memoirs by intimate friends, and to his corre- 
spondence with them. His facts are therefore likely to be 
correct. According to his testimony. Virgil was born at the 
small village of Andes (probably the modern Pictold), near 
Mantua, on the 15th of October B.C. 70, in the consulship 
of Cneius Pompey the Great and C. Licinius Crassus, 
His parents were in a lowly condition of life, and in the 
first instance rather poor. Some ancient authorities say that 
his father was a potter, others that he was the hired servant 
of a courier called INIagius, whose daughter Magia he after- 
wards married ; while others state that he cultivated a small 
farm on the banks of the river Mincius, and that in later 
days he became pretty rich by buying up tracts of woodland 
at the time of Sulla's proscriptions, when property would of 
course be very cheap. However that may be, he was un- 
doubtedly a man of much sagacity and strong common-sense; 
for like Horace's father he spared no expense, compatible 
with his means, to give his son the best education to be had, 
so as to fit him for high position in the State, or to ensure 
his success as a pleader. 

Young A^irgil first went to Cremona to be taught the rudi- 
ments of learning, and here he assumed the toga vinlis on 
the first day of his i6th year, the very day that Lucretius, 
his great model and master in poetry, died. By a remark- 
able coincidence, Pompey and Crassus were for the second 
time consuls this year, as they were for the first time the 
year of his birth. 

From Cremona, Virgil went to Mediolanum (Milan) to 
pursue his course of stud}', and from Milan to Naples, where 
he put himself under the guidance of the poet Parthenius, 
to perfect himself in the knowledge of Greek. Thence he 
returned to Rome in B.C. 46 or 47, and devoted himself, 
with his usual diligence and zeal, to master the principles 
and the rules of the art of rhetoric. He also studied 
medicine and astrology, and took special pleasure in the 


lessons of Siron, an epicurean philosopher, whose doctrines 
long influenced his life, as they also coloured his \Yritings. 
See Geo. i. 415 sgq. 

Virgil was of a delicate constitution, and was much 
troubled with a bad stomach, a " touchy " throat, frequent 
headaches, and occasional spitting of blood. This may so far 
account for his timidity and shyness, and for his resolve to 
abandon all thoughts of the forum and the senate. He 
once tried to speak in the law courts, but utterly failed, 
and so gave up the profession, to the great benefit of after 
generations. Though a failure as a speaker, he was, it seems, 
a beautiful reader, more particularly in dignified and pathetic 
parts. On one occasion he was reading the sixth iDook of 
the ^neid to Augustus and his sister Octavia, mother of 
Marcellus, and when he came to that well known and touch- 
ing passage, " Heu miserande puer, si qua fata aspera rumpas, 
Tu Marcellus eris," — 

Lamented youth, 

Canst thou the thread of cruel fate unbind, 

Marcelhis thou shalt be, — 

Octavia, who before this had lost her son Marcellus, fell 
into a swoon, from which she was long in recovering. 

He seems to have returned at this time to his paternal 
farm at Andes, probably in 41 or 40 B.C., and then to 
have occupied his leisure hours in writing some of those 
minor pieces which antiquity ascribed to him, but many of 
which are evidently not his composition. They betray a 
far inferior hand. 

Where he formed the acquaintance of Maecenas cannot be 
accurately ascertained, but we know that before the troubles 
arising from the distribution of lands promised to the 
veterans of Octavianus and Antony, he had fortunately 
found favour with Asinius Pollio, Cornelius Gallus, and 
Alfenus Varus. ■\\'ith Maecenas he had been on intimate 
terms previously. These friends stood him in good stead 
afterwards, as will be seen. 

The political complications and military events which 
followed on the assassination of Julius Coesar gave a new 
turn to the poet's life. The State was at once divided into 
two great parties, the Julian and the Republican. Oo 


tavianus, Great Caesar's nephew, and Marcus Antonius, 
commonly known as Mark Antony, headed the former, and 
Brutus and Cassius the latter. In 42 B.C. they met in 
deadly struggle at Philippi in Macedonia, when victory 
declared in favour of those who were burning to avenge 
the death of the great dictator. 

Before going forth to the campaign, Octavianus and 
Antony had promised farms in the richest part of Italy to 
those soldiers who should remain faithful to their cause. 
When the war was over, it fell to Octavianus, as Antony 
was still in Asia, to allot these lands. The territory of 
Mantua and its neighbourhood was one of the confiscated 
districts. Among the sufferers was Virgil, but he did not 
tamely submit to spoliation. He went to Rome, probably 
by the advice of Asinius Pollio, who was then lieut.- 
governor of Transpadane Gaul, and by his influence and 
that of his other friends mentioned above, he succeeded in 
getting his farm restored to him, as recorded in the First 

But after the war of Perusia, 40 B.C., in which Octavianus 
defeated Lucius Antonius, brother of Mark Antony, a second 
distribution of lands among veterans took place, and once 
more Virgil was dispossessed. On this occasion, being 
fortified by the promise of Octavianus, he attempted to 
resist the intruder who came to oust him, but the soldier,- a 
hot-tempered centurion, violently assaulted him. The poet 
was obliged to take to flight, and narrowly escaped with his 
life. He now undertook a second journey to Rome, and 
through the same influential friends as before, he not only 
recovered his own property, but was also the means of 
saving to the Mantuans a large part of territory which had 
been taken from them. This event, coupled with the 
expected restoration of peace to the nation by what has 
been called the treaty of Brundusium, he celebrated in his 
Fourth Eclogue, the most sublime and most touching of 
them all. 

From this time forth Virgil lived for the most part in Naples 
and in Sicily, with occasional visits to Rome and to his 
native Andes. At Rome, where he had a house on the 
Esquiline Hill, near the gardens of Maecenas, he was on 


terms of close friendship with all the noted statesmen of the 

day, and with the leaders in literature, of whom Horace and 

Varius were of foremost mark. It was in such company 

that he went on the famous "journey to Brundusium," 

which Horace has described with exquisite humour in the 

fifth satire of the First Book. He was, like his friend Horace, 

a prime favourite with Maecenas, whose generosity enabled 

him to lay up money for himself, and also to help his aged 

father, who in his latter days was blind. This duty he is 

said to have faithfully and dutifully performed every year. 

In 19 B.C. he took a journey to Greece and Asia Minor 

to familiarise himself with the scenes and the manners of 

eastern places and peoples, so as to ensure accuracy of 

description and truthfulness of colouring in the /Eneid 

before finally revising it for publication. At Athens he met 

Octavianus, now the Emperor Augustus, who seeing that he 

was not strong enough for the fatigue of such journeys as 

he would require to make, prevailed on him to return in his 

suite to Rome. He got as far as Megara, no great distance 

from Athens, and there became seriously ill. He continued 

his journey, however, but died at Brundusium, aged 51, a 

few days after his arrival, the sea voyage having, as it was 

thought, aggravated his disease. By his own desire his body 

was taken to Naples, and buried in Mount Posilipo, not far 

from the city. The oft quoted epitaph on his tombstone — 

Mantua vie genuit, Calahri rapiierc, (end mine 
Parthenope : CeetJii paseiia, rura, diiees — 

cannot have been written by himself, as is alleged, but by 

some third-rate poetaster. 

By the munificence of his patrons, Maecenas, Augustus, 

and others, Virgil had amassed a large amount of money, 

which his inexpensive mode of life tended to increase. The 

amount of his fortune has been variously estimated from 

£70,000 to £100,000 of our money. One-half of this he 

bequeathed to a step-brother, his two full-brothers having 

died before him ; and the remainder he divided among his 

benefactors and friends, Augustus, Maecenas, Varius, and 

Tucca. He was never married. In his will he left the 

manuscript of the /Eneid to Varius and Tucca, on the 

distinct understanding that they were not to publish anything 


which had not already been put forth. His last wish was 
not complied with, and the .^neid was edited and issued 
by Varius and Tucca, with only a few absolutely indispen- 
sable corrections. 

Virgil was of tall stature and dark complexion, and had a 
rather rustic and clownish face. His disposition was amiable 
to a very high degree, so that he was a universal favourite. 
He was modest, kind and open, free from envy and all 
uncharitableness. He was fond of painting nature in her 
most tender and loving aspects, and of avoiding all that was 
rough, harsh, or ungenial. The Fourth Book of the ALneid, 
which is perhaps the most successful part of the work, shows 
his keen sense of the power and the reality of love ; still, he 
was not without enemies and detractors, but the feelings of 
these seemed to have been roused by his great success 
and popularity, not by anything disagreeable in himself, or 
offensive in his writings or in his conduct towards others. 

In politics he was a strong supporter of the Julian party 
and of the Emperor Augustus, to whom he was bound not 
only by personal ties, but also by the bond of* patriotism. 
He had seen with admiration all that great Julius had done 
for the Roman name, and all that his nephew Octavianus 
Augustus had effected in reducing to peace and order the 
enmity and chaos which had been left by the civil conten- 
tions of preceding years : he was a true patriot, and was 
grateful for their services to country and to humanity. 

Virgil's main writings are the Bucolics or Eclogues, the 
Georgics, and the .-Eneid, notices of which will be found 
preceding the translation of each. 




The word Bucolics means Songs of Shepherds, or Pastoral 
Poems. The term Eclogues, not used by the poet himself, but 
probably invented by one of the later grammarians, is equivalent 
to extracts, or selections, and as applied to the poems before us 
seems to designate them as a sort of " Elegant Extracts " from 
a Book of Pastorals, or as imitations of passages culled from 
Greek authors. 

The original Bucolic was a rude kind of poem representing 
shepherd life in its simple aspect, in its loneliness and self-com- 
muning, and in its imaginary and exaggerated sorrows, with 
occasionally its coarse humour and its grotesque superstition. 
But the Bucolics of Virgil are not of that type. They are not 
the outcome of his own experience, nor are they moulded by his 
own surroundings, or by the habits and manners of Italian shep- 
herds, but they are based on, and are very largely imitative of, 
the Idyls of Theocritus, a Greek poet of Sicily, who flourished 
about 280 B.C. From him Virgil has borrowed without scruple 
and without stint, using the story, the names, and the scenery of 
the Greek Idyl. Tityrus, Menalcas, Amaryllis, Galatea, and the 
other characters introduced into the Eclogues, are all Greek, 
and are taken from Theocritus. This close imitation of the 
Greek poet was probably indulged in, not through ignorance of 
what was the legitim.ate form of the Bucolic proper, but from a 
desire to humour the taste of the day, and to ensure the success 
of his writings by following a Greek model. 

During the first six centuries of Roman history, the citizens 
of the great Republic were too keenly and too constantly occu- 
pied in defending themselves from external enemies, and in 


enlarging their empire, to pay attention to the cuUivation of the 
pohte arts, and to the study of a foreign hterature ; they had no 
native authors of any excellence. But when they got rest from 
their enemies round about them, and when their intercourse with 
Greece became more frequent and more close, they readily and 
even greedily availed themselves of the masterpieces of her 
literature, and "captive Greece took captive her stern conqueror." 
Thus it came about that the surest way to gain popularity and 
fame as a writer was to copy the admired masters of Greece. 
The same tendency showed itself on the revival of literature in 
England. The ambition of our earliest writers of that period 
w'as either to translate the ancient classical authors into English, 
or in their own compositions to follow as closely as possible in 
the footsteps of the ancients, " There is something almost un- 
exampled," says Mr Conington, " in the state of feeling which at 
Rome, and in the Augustan age in particular, allowed palpable 
and avowed imitation to claim the honour of poetical originality, 
. . . yet we may realise something of the feeling if we go 
back to the time when the office of translator ranked as high 
in English estimation as that of an original poet ; when he that 
drew Zimri and Achitophel was thought to have added to his 
fame by his versions of Juvenal and Virgil, and the preparation 
of the English Iliad and Odyssey occupied, perhaps not un- 
worthily, ten of the best years of the mind which had produced 
the " Essay on Criticism" and the " Rape of the Lock." 

Though Virgil, with deliberate purpose and aim, strove to 
imitate Theocritus, he did not slavishly follow him on every oc- 
casion. No doubt he literally translated many lines and phrases 
and even whole passages from him, and borrowed images, per- 
sonal incidents, and descriptions of scenery ; still he often 
launches out more boldly, and gives an unmistakable Roman 
cast and colour to the characters, the matter, and the style. In 
fact, it would seem as if he had wished to strike out a new 
species of literary composition for himself, which should have 
more of the dramatic and the mimetic than either the old 
Bucolic or the improved Idyl of Theocritus, and to impart to it 
more of a living interest by introducing persons and events 
of contemporaneous history. 

To please his courtly readers, who took no interest in rural 


pursuits, and who did not understand the coarse and vulgar 
patois, he uses language more classical and more elegant than 
plain shepherds could be expected to employ. His diction is 
always Roman ; and besides, the want of a Doric dialect in the 
Latin lancfuasre rendered the verbal imitation of the Bucolic 
style impossible. There are, it must be confessed, many 
blemishes and many defects in those VirgiHan Eclogues, which, 
according to the rules of rigid criticism, cannot be defended ; 
but on the whole, though they want the ease, grace, and native 
simplicity of the Idyls of Theocritus, yet they are truthful echoes 
of Roman feeling and sentiment. The characters are Italian ; 
and as they act the part of Sicilian shepherds, we have a feeling 
of unreality about the picture presented to us. The scenery, 
too, is not Italian, but Sicilian. At Mantua, there are no green 
caves in which the shepherd may lie to avoid the noonday heat ; 
there are no hazel-crags from which his goats may hang and 
crop the leaves as he tunes his oaten pipe ; and no lofty moun- 
tains, whose lengthening shadows may remind him that evening 
is at hand. At Mantua, the trees of Sicily, the beech, the pine, 
the ilex, and the chestnut, are not found, but it is pretty certain 
that this confusion of places, of men and of things, did not strike 
a Roman as it does our modern critics. We cannot judge cor- 
rectly of the poet by our own standards, but must try to look on 
the products of his polished mind as the men of his own day and 
of a somewhat later date looked on them. His contemporary, 
Horace, admired them, so did Augustus, so did Meecenas, and 
Varius, and others of high esteem in the Court and in literary 
circles, where Virgil was a prime favourite as a poet and as a 
man. Horace, who does not spare his criticisms of Latin writers, 
finds no fault with Virgil for the manner in which he has treated 
Bucolic subjects, or for his deviations from Bucolic models, 
while he praises him for his versification, which was a new 
departure in that kind of composition. He says, 

7nolle atque facetum 
Virgilio annuerunt gaudentes rure CamcciKS. 

Which some interpret as referring only to the smoothness and 
finish of his verses, while others take the phrase to mean " tender- 
ness and refined wit," or the "delicacy of touch, and graceful 
wit," of the poems. Most probably both were intended Ijy the 


critic. Whatever the real faults of the Eclogues may be, every 
one who reads them must acknowledge that they contain many 
beautiful sentiments happily expressed, and many passages of 
touching sympathy with nature in all her aspects. That this 
was the feeling of the Romans in Virgil's lifetime is testified by 
Tacitus, who tells us that these Eclogues were frequently read in 
the theatre, and that on one occasion " the people rose oi masse^ 
and showed the same veneration for Virgil, who happened to 
be present among the audience, which they were wont to show 
to Augustus." 

There is much variety of opinion as to the date of the com- 
position of each Eclogue, and as to the publication of the whole 
in one volume, but it is now generally agreed that they were 
written from 43 or 42 B.C. to yj or 3^ B.C., and that Virgil him- 
self arranged them for publication in the order in which they 
now stand. The last line of the Fourth Georgic shows that 
Tityrus was to be placed first. Some of the Eclogues are com- 
posed entirely after their Greek model : these are the first, the 
second, the third, the fifth, the eighth, and the ninth. The others 
are of a more original kind, viz., the fourth, the sixth, and the 
tenth. See the introduction to each. 



Octavianus, assisted by Mark Antony, defeated Brutus and Cassius in the 
battle of Philippi, in Macedonia, in 42 B.C. On his return to Rome 
he distributed to his own veterans and those of Antony lands which had 
been promised them the year before at the siege of Mutina. Cremona 
was one of the cities whose territory was chosen for this purpose, and 
as there was not enough of land, the neighbouring Mantua was taken 
also. Virgil lost his farm, as he was in the Mantuan district, but he got 
it back again through the influence of Asinius PoUio. This Eclogue ex- 
presses his gratitude to Octavianus. Tityrus represents Virgil in some 
parts, and in others, an old slave in his employment. Melibceus is a 
shepherd who did not recover his home. 

Melibceus, Tityrus. 

M. You, Tityrus, reclining under the covert of a spreading 
beech, are practising a pastoral lay on a slender pipe : We 
are leaving our home and its charming fields : We are being 
banished from our fatherland : You, Tityrus, resting peace- 
fully in the shade, are teaching the woods to echo the name 
of the lovely Amaryllis.^ 

T. O Melibceus, a god has granted us the ease we now 
enjoy ; for to me he shall always be a god ; a tender lamb 
from our folds shall often stain his altar with its blood. He 
has given me permission that my cattle should roam at will, 
as you see, and that I myself should play what strain I please 
on my rustic reed. 

^ Amaryllis, the name of a country girl. Some have supposed that 
the poet spoke of Rome under that name. 


M. I do not indeed grudge it to you ; rather do I wonder 
at it; to such an extent does confusion reign everywhere 
throughout the whole country. Lo, I myself, sick at heart, 
am driving onwards my tender she-goats : this one, O 
Tityrus, I lead along even with difficulty : for here just now, 
among the dense hazels, bringing forth twins with many 
throes, she has dropped them, alas ! the hope of the flock, 
on the bare rock. This calamity, I remember, my oaks 
stricken by lightning often presaged to me, had my mind 
been open to warning : But tell me, Tityrus, what kind of a 
god is it you speak of? 

T. The city, Melibceus, which they call Rome, I, in my 
simplicity, imagined to be like this Mantua^ of ours, 
whither we shepherds often drive to market the tender 
offspring of our ewes. So I had known whelps to be like 
dogs, kids to be like their dams : thus was I wont to 
compare great things with small. But that city has raised 
its head as high among others, as the cypresses are wont to 
do among the pliant way-faring shrubs. 

M. And what so urgent reason had you for visiting 
Rome ? 

T. Liberty; which, though late in doing so, yet kindly 
regarded me with favour, remiss as I was, after my beard 
began to fall with a greyish hue as I shaved ; yet, she 
did regard me with favour, and came to me after a long 
time, since Amaryllis gained my affections, and after Galatea 
had abandoned me. Because — for I will confess it — 
while Galatea ruled me, I had neither hopes of liberty, nor 
anxiety about my private gains. Though many a victim 
went from my folds, and though many a rich cheese was 
pressed for the thankless city, my right hand never returned 
home heavy with money for me. 

M. I often wondered, Amaryllis, why in mournful mood 

^ Mantua, a city in the north of Italy, on the Mincio, in the neigh- 
bourhood of which Virgil was born. 


L. 11-62] BUCOLICS. 9 

you used to invoke the gods ; and for whom you suffered the 
fruits to hang, each on its tree. Your Tityrus was from 
home. The very pines, O Tityrus, the very fountains, these 
very copses anxiously called for you. 

T. What was I to do ? It was neither in my power, while 
I staid here, to go forth from bondage, nor elsewhere to find 
so powerful gods. Here, Meliboeus, I saw that youth, to 
whom for twelve days in the year our altars smoke. Here 
he was the first to give an answer to my prayer: "Swains 
feed your cows as formerly ; admit your steers." 

M. Happy old man, your lands then will remain your 
own, large enough for you, too, although bare stones 
abound everywhere and marshes with slimy bull-rushes 
are common on the pasture lands. No strange fodder shall 
poison your breeding ewes ; nor shall the baleful contamina- 
tion of a neighbouring flock hurt them. Lucky old man ! 
here, among well-known streams and sacred fountains, you 
shall enjoy the cool shade. On the one side, — that is, on 
your neighbour's boundary-fence, — the hedge whose willow- 
flowers are always fed upon by Hybla^an bees^ shall often 
invite you to sleep by its gentle hum. On the other side, 
beneath a lofty rock, the leaf-stripper shall send forth his 
song on the breeze : nor meanwhile shall either the hoarse 
wood-pigeons, your delight, or the turtle dove on his lofty 
elm, cease to coo. 

T. Sooner therefore shall the fleet stags pasture high in 
air, and the seas leave the fish exposed on the shore ; 
sooner shall the Parthian- wanderer drink of the Arar, or 
the German of the Tigris, each having traversed the 

^ Hyblasan bees, from Ilybla, a town in Sicily, celebrated for its 
excellent honey. Quae semper is by some reckoned a parenthesis, in the 
sense of " shall invite you to sleep, as it always does." 

" Parthian, &c. Parthia, now part of Persia, a country of Asia. 
The Arar, or Saone, a river of France, which falls into the Rhone at 
Lyons. The Tigris, a river of Asia, running into the Persian Gulf, 
as also the Euphrates does. 


Other's territory, than his image shall be effaced from my 

M. But some of us shall go hence to the thirst-parched 
Africans ; others of us shall reach Scythia^ and the swift 
flowing Oaxes in Crete, and the Britons totally separated 
from the rest of the world. Ah then ! shall I ever when 
visiting, after a long interval, my native home and the turf- 
piled roof of my humble hut — shall I hereafter (I say) look 
with astonishment on a few scanty ears of grain, ^ my whole 
domain ? Shall a ruthless soldier possess these fallow-lands, 
so highly tilled ? A barbarian these corn-fields ? Behold 
to what a pass disunion has brought wretched fellow- 
citizens ! For such successors have we sown our fields ! 
Now, Meliboeus, engraft your pear trees, plant your vines 
in rows ! Begone, my sheep, once a happy flock, begone. 
No more shall I, stretched in a moss-grown cave, henceforth 
behold you hanging at a distance from a bush-clad rock. 
No songs shall I sing ; no more, my goats, as I feed you, 
shall you crop the flowery cytisus and bitter willows. 

T. Yet here for this night you might rest with me on 
a couch of green leaves. I have mellow apples, mealy 
chestnuts, and plenty of fresh-pressed curd. And now the 
high roofs of the distant farm-houses are smoking, and 
shadows of greater length are falling from the lofty moun- 

^ Scythia, a general name given by the ancients to the extreme 
northern parts of Europe and Asia. 

^ This sentence (on wliich consult Forbiger's or Conington's notes) 
has puzzled all commentators, and the modes of rendering it are many. 
The one given above, though not without its objections, seems to 
afford the best sense. It represents the speaker anticipating the 
bad farming of the bungling soldier who is to succeed him. The phrase 
"my whole domain," literally "my kingdom," "where I was as 
happy as a king and reigned supreme," contrasts with its former 
flourishing condition the wretched sight he expects to see on his 

L, 1-21] BUCOLICS. II 


The subject of this Eclogue is taken from the eleventh Idyl of Theo- 
critus. The shepherd Corydon is deeply enamoured of Alexis, a 
youth of great beauty, whom he in vain urges to come and live with 
him in the country. Some old grammarians have handed down the 
tradition that Ale.xis was given to Virgil by his friend PoUio as a slave. 
Corydon would thus represent the poet. But it is more probable 
that this is a mere imitation of Theocritus. 


The shepherd Corydon loved ardently the beautiful 
Alexis, the darling of his master ; nor had he any apparent 
ground for hope. Yet ^ he used to come constantly among 
the dense beeches with overshadowing tops : there, all alone, 
he would pour forth to the mountains and the woods these 
unstudied laments with bootless earnestness : — 

iVh, cruel Alexis, do you pay no heed at all to my lays ? 
Have you no pity for me ? At last you will compel me to 
die. Even the cattle now pant after shades and cool 
retreats ; now the thorny brakes shelter even the green 
lizards, and Thestylis pounds the garlic and wild thyme, 
strong-scented herbs, for the reapers exhausted by the 
scorching heat. But to the hoarse grasshoppers in company 
with me the thickets resound, while under the burning sun 
I trace your steps, Was it not better to endure the peevish 
humours and proud disdain of Amarylhs? to bear with 
Menalcas, however swarthy he was, however fair you be ? 
Ah, pretty boy, trust not too much to complexion. White 
privets are left to fall; purple hyacinths are gathered. 
Alexis, I am scorned by you ; nor do you inquire what I 
am ; how rich in flocks, how fully supplied with snow-white 
milk. A thousand ewes of mine roam on the mountains of 

^ Tanliiiiif literally, only, i.e. as his only consolation. 


Sicily. Young milled fails me not in summer ; it fails me 
not in winter. I sing the same airs which Theban Amphion^ 
was wont to do when on Attic Aracynthus^ he piped home 
his herds. Nor am I so ill-made : upon the shore I lately 
viewed myself, when the sea had been calmed by the 
lulling winds. I will not fear Daphnis, you yourself being 
judge, since the reflected image never lies. O would it but 
please you to inhabit with me our homely rural retreats and 
humble cots, and to spear the stags, and to drive the flock 
of kids to the green mallow ! In the woods along with me 
you shall rival Pan in singing. Pan first taught men to 
join several reeds with wax ; Pan guards sheep and shep- 
herds. Regret not that you have worn away your lip on a 
shepherd's reed. What was not Amyntas wont to do to 
learn this same art ? I have a pipe of seven reeds of un- 
equal length compactly joined, of which Damcetas some 
time ago made me a present, and as he was dying, said, 
"It now has you as my (worthy) successor." Damcetas 
spoke : the foolish Amyntas was envious. Besides I have 
two young he-goats, found in a glen by no means safe, with 
skins even now speckled with white ; they each drain daily 
the udders of a ewe; these, then, I reserve for you. 
For a long time now Thestylis has been begging to get 
them from me ; and she shall do so, since my presents are 
valueless in your eyes. 

^ Young milk, that is, the milk of animals which have recently 
brought forth. 

2 Amphion, the famous king of Thebes, who built the walls of that 
city, and is said to have made the stones to dance into their places 
by the music of his lyre. He is called Dirc-eus, either from Dirce, his 
step-mother, whom he put to death for the injuries she had done to 
his mother, Antiope ; or from a fountain in Boeotia of that name. 

3 Aracynthus was, according to some ancient authorities, a mountain 
on the confines of Attica and Boeotia where was the fountain Dirce : 
it is called Actjco, Attic, from Acta or Acte, an older name for Attica. 
The Aracynthus range proper was in /Etolia. 

L. 22-73] BUCOLICS. 13 

Come hither, O lovely boy ; behold the nymphs bring you 
lilies in full baskets. For you, fair Niiis, culling the yellow 
violets and heads of poppies, joins the daffodil and the flower 
of sweet-smelling dill; and then, intertwining them with 
casia, and other fragrant herbs, she varies the soft hyacinths 
with saffron marigold. I myself will gather for you quinces 
hoary with tender down and chestnuts which my Amaryllis 
loved. I will add yellow plums. On this fruit too shall 
distinction be conferred. And you, O bays, I will gather ; 
and you, O myrtle, next to them: for, thus arranged, you 
mingle sweet perfumes. 

Corydon, you are a dolt ; Alexis neither cares for your 
presents ; nor, if you were to contend in presents, would 
loUas yield. Alas, alas, what did I mean, wretched man 
that I am? I have let the south wind loose among my 
flowers, and boars on my crystal springs, fool that I am. 
Whom do you fly from in your madness? even the gods 
themselves have dwelt in woods, and Trojan Paris too. Let 
Pallas by herself alone inhabit the citadels she has erected. 
Let woods delight us above all things else. The savage 
lioness pursues the wolf; the wolf on his part, the goat ; the 
wanton goat pursues the flowery cytisus ; Corydon follows 
you, O Alexis. His own peculiar desire leads each one on. 

See, the steers draw home the uplifted plough, and the 
sinking sun doubles the lengthening shadows ; but me love 
still consumes. For what bounds can be set to love ? Ah, 
Corydon, Corydon, what frenzy has possessed you ? Your 
vine remains on the leafy elm, half-pruned. Why do you 
not rather try to weave of osiers and pliant rushes something 
at least which your daily work requires? You will find 
another Alexis, since this one disdains you. 




This Eclogue exhibits a trial of skill in singing, between Damoetas and 
Menalcas. This contest is conducted in what is called Amosba^an, i.e. 
" answering," verse, in which the second speaker replies to the first in 
the same number of lines, and on the same or a closely similar subject. 
Palaernon, who is chosen judge, after hearing them, declares his inability 
to decide such an important controversy. 

Menalcas, Damcetas, Pal^emon. 

M. Tell me, Damcetas, Avhose is the flock ? It is not 
that of Melibceus, is it ? 

D. No ; but Agon's, ^gon lately entrusted it to my care. 

M. Ah sheep, ever a luckless flock ; while he himself 
courts Neaera, and fears that she may prefer me to him, this 
stranger shepherd milks the ewes twice in an hour ; and the 
substance is drained from the sheep, and the milk withheld 
from the lambs. 

D. Remember, however, that these charges should witli 

more caution be made against men. We know both who 

you, and in what sacred grot, while the he-goats looked 
askance ; but the obliging nymphs smiled. 

M. Just at the time, I suppose, when they saw me with a 
malicious bill hacking Mycon's elm-grove and young vines. 

D. Or here by these old beeches, when you broke the 
bow and arrows of Daphnis : and when you, cross-grained 
Menalcas, saw them given to the boy, you both were vexed, 
and you would have burst for envy, had you not by some 
means or other done him an injury. 

M. What are the owners of flocks to do, when thievish 
knaves make such robberies ? Miscreant ! did I not see 
you entrap that goat of Damon's, while his mongreP barked 

1 Lycisca— "mongrel" between a wolf and a dog. Some take Lycisca 
as the name of the dog merely. 

L. 1-42] BUCOLICS. 15 

with fury? And when I cried out, "Where is that fellow 
now rushing off to? Tityrus, muster your flock," you 
skulked away behind the sedges. 

D. Was he not, when vanquished in singing, to give me 
the goat which my flute had won by its music ? If you don't 
know it, that same goat was my own : and Damon himself 
confessed it, but alleged that he was not able to pay it to me. 

M. You conquer /it'm in piping, forsooth ! Now just tell 
me, had you ever in your possession a pipe cemented with 
wax ? Were you not wont, you ignoramus, to stand at the 
cross-roads and shockingly murder some wretched tune on 
a squeaking straw ? 

D. Are you willing, then, that we should have a trial 
between us, by turns, what each can do ? This young cow 
I stake ; and that you may have no excuse for declining the 
contest, (I tell you that) she comes twice a-day to the 
milking pail : two calves she suckles with her udder : now, 
say for what stake you will contend against me. 

M. I dare not stake anything from the flock as you do : 
for I have a father at home, T have a harsh step-mother : 
and twice a-day both of them number the flock, one or other 
of them the kids too. But what you yourself will own to 
be of far greater value, since you choose to make a fool of 
yourself, I will stake my beechen bowls, the carved work of 
divine Alcimedon,^ to which a pliant fine, superadded 
by the obedient ^ chisel, clothes with its foliage the cluster- 
ing berries put forth everywhere in profusion by the pale 
ivy. In the open space there are two figures — Conon, and 
who was the other, who with his wand mapped out for men 
the world's great globe ; (who showed) what seasons the 

^ Alcimedon is not heard of elsewhere. Conon was a famous 
astronomer in the time of Ptolemy Philad'elphus : the "other" was 
probably Eudoxus, whose " Phsenomena " was versified by Aratus. — 

"^ Obedient, i.e. moving easily (facilis) as the turner directs. 

1 6 BUCOLICS. [Ecu III. 

reaper, what the bending ploughman, should have ? Nor 
have I yet applied my lips to them, but I keep them care- 
fully laid up. 

D. For me too the same Alcimedon made two bowls, 
and wreathed their handles all round with the flexible 
acanthus. In the open space he placed Orpheus, and the 
woods follov/ing him. Nor have I yet applied my lips to 
them, but keep them carefully laid up. If you consider the 
cow, you have no reason to extol your bowls. 

M. By no means shall you at this time escape : I will 
meet you on any terms, only let some one hear this con- 
test, even the man who is approaching : I declare it is 
Palasmon : I'll put you from hereafter challenging any other 
person to sing. 

D. Come on, then, if you have a stave in you, there shall 
be no delay on my part, for I don't shrink from any competi- 
tion : only, neighbour Palaemon, weigh this with the deepest 
attention : it is a matter of no small importance. 

P. Sing on, since we are seated on the soft grass ; and 
now every field, now every tree, is fruitful : now the woods 
are clad with foliage ; now the year is at its fairest. Begin, 
Damoetas : then you Menalcas, follow. You shall sing in 
alternate verses : the Muses love Amoebsean strains. 

D. I begin with Jove, ye Muses : all things are full of 
Jove : he makes the earth fruitful ; he takes pleasure in my 

M. And me, on my part, Phoebus loves. I have always 
ready for Phoebus his favourite offerings, bays, and the 
sweetly blushing hyacinth. 

D. Galatea, rogue that she is, pelts me with apples, i and 
flies to the willows, but wishes to be seen first. 

M. But my flame, Amyntas, voluntarily offers himself to 

1 The apple was sacred to Venus ; and a present of an apple, or the 
partaking of an apple with another, was a mark of affection ; and so 
also it was to throw an apple at one. 

L. 43-89] BUCOLICS. 17 

me; so that now Delia's^ self is not more familiar to our 

D. A present is provided for my love : for I myself 
marked the place where the airy wood-pigeons have built. 

M. What I could I sent to my boy, ten ruddy apples 
gathered from a tree in the wood : to-morrow I will send 
him a second ten. 

D. O how often, and what words Galatea spoke to me ! 
Some part of them, ye winds, waft to the ears of the gods. 

M. What avails it, O Amyntas, that you despise me not 
in your heart, if, while you hunt the boars, I watch the 

D. loUas, send to me Phyllis : it is my birthday. When 
I make my offering by a heifer instead of fruits, come 

M. lollas, I love Phyllis above all others : for at my 
departure she wept, and long she cried, Farewell, fair youth, 

D. The wolf is the bane of the flocks ; showers, of the 
ripened corn ; winds, of the trees ; mine, the anger of 

M. Moisture is grateful to the sown corn ; the arbutus to 
weaned kids ; the pliant willow to the breeding cattle ; to 
me, Amyntas alone. 

D. Pollio loves my muse, though rustic : ye Pierian 
Sisters, feed a heifer for your reader. 

M. Pollio himself, too, composes fresh poems : feed for 
him a bull which already butts with his horn, and spurns 
the sand with his feet. 

D. Let him who loves you, Pollio, rise to the same pre- 
eminence to which he rejoices that you have risen : for 
him let honey flow, and let the prickly bramble bring forth 
a fragrant spice. 

^ Delia. Diana was so called, because she was born, as was said, in 
the island of Delos. 



M. Let him who does not disUke the verses of Bavius/ 
be satisfied with yours, O Msevius ; and let him, too, yoke 
foxes to the plough and milk he-goats. 

D. Ye swains who gather flowers, and strawberries that 
grow on the ground, oh fly hence ; a cold snake lurks in 
the grass. ^ 

M. Take care, my sheep, that you advance not too far ; 
it is not safe to trust to the bank ; the ram himself is even 
now drying his fleece. 

D. Tityrus, drive back your browsing goats from the 
river ; I myself, when the time comes, will wash them all in 
the pool. 

M. Muster the sheep (under the shade), ye swains : if the 
heat should forestall the milk as it lately did, in vain shall 
we squeeze the teats with our hands. 

D. Alas, alas, how lean is my bull amid the fattening 
vetches ! love is the bane at once of the herd and the 

M, Surely love is not the cause with these : their flesh 
scarcely clings to their bones. Some evil eye or other is 
bewitching my tender lambs to my hurt. 

D. Tell me, and you shall be my great Apollo, in what 
part of the earth is the expanse of the heaven visible for no 
more than three ells ?^ 

M. Tell me in what land flowers grow, having inscribed 

^ Bavius and Moevius, two contemptible poets, contemporary witli 

^ The Greek proverb is, v-nh iravA \\eai iTKopinos ["under every 
stone a scorpion "]. 

' Many solutions have been given to this enigma, some making the 
reference to be to a well ; others to a pit in the forum, &c. Asconius 
Pedianus is, however, said to have heard Virgil himself say that he 
referred to the tomb of Coelius, a spendthrift at Mantua, who spent 
all that he possessed, and retained merely enough ground for a tomb, 
ir this be the correct solution, the enigma turns upon the similarity 
between r^/?, " of heaven, " and Ca-/i (i.e. Ctxlii), "ofCcelius." 

L. 90-1 1 1] BUCOLICS. 19 

themselves with the names of princes ;^ and have PhilHs to 
yourself alone. 

P. It is not for me to determine so great a controversy 
between you. Both he deserves the heifer and you too; 
and whoever shall describe in song the fears of sweet loves 
and the pangs of bitter ones. Now, swains, close the 
runnels ; the meadows have imbibed enough. 

^ The allusion is to Ihe hyacinth, which has, according to a poetic 
legend, the letters AI marked on its petals, not only as a note of 
sorrow for the death of Ilyacinthus, but also as constituting half the 
name of Ajax, i.e. Aifas. 

20 BUCOLICS. [ECL. iv. 


This Eclogue has given rise to much controversy among learned men. 
The great question is, who was the wonderful boy about to be born ? 
Some say the son of Asinius PoUio, who had just returned to Rome 
after arranging at Brundusium terms of reconciliation between Octavianus 
and Antony. Others again argue that it was Marcellus, son of Mar- 
cellus and Octavia, sister of Octavianus, and now wife of Mark Antony. 
But young Marcellus was born, it would appear, about two years before 
the date usually assigned to the Eclogue, which, if the date be correct, 
is a fatal objection to his claim. It is the more difficult to determine 
who was meant since no child was born which became a regenerator of 
his race and times. 

Some commentators consider that the child meant is Christ. To this 
theory, however, there are innumerable objections. It is quite possible — 
nay, certain — that Virgil must have heard of the expectation of the Jews, 
many of whom lived in Rome at that time, and that he may have used 
Jewish prophecy and the beautiful imagery of the Jewish prophets to 
glorify his friend and patron PoUio. There appears to have been a 
general e.\pectation at that time over the whole Roman world that a 
person was to be born who would regenerate all things, and introduce 
a second golden age ; and it is possible that Virgil may have been 
giving voice to that hope, without having any definite person in 

Virgil has been censured for putting this poem among his Bucolics, since, 
say the critics, it is not a bucolic poem at all. It certainly does not 
contain any dialogues or songs of shepherds, or the other usual accessories 
of a pastoral poem, but it sets forth in beautiful language and in stately 
lines how men, and sheep, and goats, and bullocks will be freed from 
that drudgery and those hardships which they formerly endured. All 
the elements of pastoral life will be there, without the pains and the 
penalties. The earth herself, without the laceration of the plough and 
the harrow, will bring forth all things spontaneously ; the plain will 
grow yellow with ripening corn ; the fruit trees will be spared the 
knife of the pruner, and yet will bear their choicest produce. No 
poisonous herbs will endanger the life of man or of cattle. No serpent 
will lurk in the grass to kill the shepherd or his flock. Honey will dis- 
til from the hard oak, and the bees will be saved their danger and 
their plagues ; and grapes will grow even on the prickly bramble. All 
these things have surely a very direct bearing on country life ; and 
though the Eclogue is not in due form, as an idyl or picture of life it 
has no equal among the other nine. 

L. 1-26] BUCOLICS. 2t 


Ye Sicilian Muses, let us sing somewhat higher strains. 
Vineyards and lowly tamarisks delight not all. If we sing 
of the country let our lays be worthy of a consul's ear. The 
last era of Cumaean^ song, has now arrived : The great series 
of ages begins anew. Now, too, returns the virgin Astraea,^ 
the reign of Saturn returns ; now a new race of men is being 
sent down from high heaven. And in a special degree, O 
chaste Lucina, be but propitious to the infant boy, under 
whom first the iron age shall cease, and the golden age arise 
over all the world ; now your own brother Apollo reigns. 
While you too, PoUio, while you are consul, this glory of our 
age shall make his entrance ; and the grand months shall 
begin to roll. Under your auspices, whatever vestiges of 
our wickedness remain, shall be rendered harmless, and 
shall release the earth from constant dread. He shall 
partake of the life of gods, and he shall see heroes associat- 
ing with the gods, and shall himself be seen by them, and 
with all the virtues of his father he shall rule a world at peace. 
Meanwhile the earth, O boy, as her first offerings, shall pour 
forth for you everywhere, without culture, creeping ivy with 
lady's glove, and Egyptian beans with smiling acanthus inter- 
mixed. The goats of their own accord shall bring home 
their udders distended with milk ; nor shall the herds dread 
the great lions. The very cradle shall pour forth for you 
soothing flowers. Moreover, the serpent shall die ; and the 
poisonous plant shall perish : the Assyrian spikenard shall 
grow on every soil. But as soon as you shall be able to read 

^ Cumxan song, from Cumce, a city of Italy, north-west of Naples, 
in the vicinity of which resided the celebrated Cumcean Sibyl. 

- Astrtea was the goddess of Justice, who resided on earth during the 
reign of Satuin, i.e. the golden age. ]5eing shocked by the impiety of 
mankind, she returned to heaven, and became one of the twelve signs 
of the zodiac, under the name of Virgo. 



the praises of heroes, and the achievements of your father, 
and to understand what virtue is, the field shall gradually 
grow yellow with beardless ears of grain, and the blushing 
grapes shall hang on the wild brambles, and the hard oaks 
shall distil dewy honey in abundance. Yet some few traces of 
former vice shall remain, prompting men to brave the sea in 
ships, to enclose cities within walls, and to cleave furrows in 
the earth. There shall then be another Tiphys, and another 
Argo^ to carry chosen heroes : there shall be likewise 
other wars : and a great Achilles shall once more be sent to 
Troy. After this, when confirmed age shall have ripened 
you into manhood, the sailor shall voluntarily renounce the 
sea ; nor shall merchant-ships barter commodities : all lands 
shall all things produce. The ground shall not suffer from 
the harrow, nor the vineyard from the pruning-hook ; the 
sturdy ploughman, too, shall now release his bulls from the 
yoke; nor shall the wool learn to counterfeit various 
colours : but the ram shall of his own accord, even while at 
pasture, change the colour of his fleece, now into sweet- 
blushing purple, now into saffron hue. Scarlet shall 
spontaneously clothe the lambs as they feed. The destinies, 
conforming to the fixed will of Fate, have said to their spindles 
"Onward through such ages run." Dear offspring of the 
gods, illustrious foster-son of Jove, advance to your splendid 
honours ; the time will soon be here. See the whole world 
in its solid globe is heaving with emotion, the earth, 
the regions of the sea, and heaven sublime : See how all 
things rejoice at the age which is on the point of coming. 
Oh that I may live so long, and that I may retain so 
much power and poetic inspiration as to be able to cele- 
brate your deeds. Neither Thracian Orpheus nor Linus 
shall surpass me in song, though his mother aid the one, 
and his sire the other — though Calliopea help Orpheus, 

^ Argo, the name of the ship which carried Jason to Colchis, to 
recover the golden fleece. Tiphys was the pilot of the ship. 

L. 24-63] BUCOLICS. 23 

and fair Apollo Linus. Should Pan contend with me, even 
with Arcadia as judge, Pan himself would own that he 
was beaten, Arcadia being the judge. Begin, O infant 
boy, to distinguish your mother by your smiles; ten 
months brought on your mother tedious qualms. Begin, O 
infant boy ; that child on whom his parents have not been 
wont to smile, him neither a god has ever honoured with 
his table, nor a goddess with her bed. 

24 BUCOLICS. [EcL. v. 


In this Eclogue, the shepherds Menalcas and Mopsus celebrate the funeral 
eulogium of Daphnis, supposed to represent Julius C^sar, Menalcas 
would then be Virgil himself. 

Menalcas, Mopsus. 

Me. Mopsus, since we are met, both skilled, you in 
piping on the slender reed, I in singing verses, why do we 
not sit down here among the elms intermixed with hazels ? 

Mo. You, Menalcas, are my senior : it is right that I 
give way to you, whether we retire beneath the shades that 
shift under the fanning zephyrs, or rather into this grotto. 
See how the wild vine has decked the cave with clusters 
here and there. 

Me. Amyntas alone in our mountains may vie with you. 

Mo. What if he would strive to surpass Phoebus too in 
song ?i 

Me. Begin you, Mopsus, first ; whether you have got any 
love-songs for Phyllis, or praises for Alcon, or invective against 
Codrus ; begin : Tityrus will tend the browsing kids. 

Mo. Nay, rather will I try those verses which lately I in- 
scribed on the green bark of a beech tree, and composing 
an air for them I noted the words and the music in turn : 2 
After that, just you bid Amyntas vie with me (if he can). 

Me. As far as the pliant willow is inferior to the pale 
olive, and humble lavender to crimson beds of roses ; so 
far is Amyntas, in my judgment, inferior to you. 

Mo. But no more words, my lad : we have entered the 

^ This is said ironically— I suppose he'll be trying to beat Phoebus 

2 Or " setting them to music, I marked the alternations of the flute 
and the voice." — Coninstton. 

L. 1-52] BUCOLICS. 2$ 

grot. The nymphs wept Daphnis cut off by a cruel death ; 
you hazels and you streams bore witness to the nymphs, 
when the mother, embracing the pitiable corpse of her 
son, denounced the cruelty of both gods and stars. 
During those days, O Daphnis, none drove their pastured 
oxen to the cooling streams : no beast either tasted of the 
brook, or touched a blade of grass. The wild mountains, 
Daphnis, and the woods, declare that even the African 
lions mourned your death. Daphnis taught us to yoke 
Armenian tigers in the chariot ; Daphnis taught us to 
introduce dances in honour of Bacchus, and to wreathe the 
pliant wands with soft leaves. As the vine is the glory of 
the trees, as grapes are of the vine, as the bull is of the 
flock, as standing corn is of fertile fields, so you were all the 
glory of your fellow-swains. Ever since the Fates snatched 
you away, Pales ^ herself, and Apollo too, have left the 
fields. In those furrows in which we have often sown large- 
sized grains of barley, there unproductive darnel and barren 
wild oats grow. Instead of the soft violet, instead of 
the purple narcissus, the thistle springs up, and the Christ- 
thorn with its sharp prickles. Strew the ground with leaves, 
ye shepherds, form a shade over the fountains : these rites 
Daphnis ordains for himself ; form a tomb too ; and on 
that tomb inscribe this epitaph : I am Daphnis of the 
groves, hence even to the stars renowned, the shepherd of a 
fair flock, fairer myself. 

Me. Such, matchless poet, is your song to me, as 
slumbers on the grass to the weary, as it is in scorching 
heat to quench one's thirst from a bubbling rivulet of deli- 
cious water, But you equal your master not in the pipe 
only, but also in your voice. Happy swain, you shall now 
be second to him. Yet, I will sing in my turn these verses 
of mine, as best I can, and laud your Daphnis to the stars : 
Daphnis I will raise to heaven ; me too Daphnis loved. 
^ Pales was the goddess of sheepfolds and of pastures. 



Mo. Can anything be more acceptable to me than such a 
favour ? The swain himself was worthy to be sung, and 
Stimichon has long since praised to me that song of 

Me. Daphnis, in divine beauty, admires the hitherto un- 
known courts of heaven, and far below him beholds the 
clouds and stars. Hence a lively joy takes possession of 
the woods and every field, Pan and the shepherds, and the 
Dryad maids. Neither does the wolf meditate designs 
against the sheep, nor do any toils seek to ensnare the deer ; 
kind Daphnis delights in peaceful rest. The very mountains, 
with their unhewn trees, for joy raise their voices to heaven ; 
now the very rocks, the very groves, resound these notes : 
a god, a god he is, Menalcas. O be kind and propitious 
to your own ! Behold four altars ; lo, Daphnis, two for 
you, and two higher ones for Phoebus. Two bowls foam- 
ing with new milk and two goblets of rich oil will I present 
to you each year : and more especially enlivening the feast 
with plenty of wine, before the fire if it be winter, if harvest, 
in the shade, I will pour forth from tankards Ariusian wine,^ 
a new and delicious beverage. Damoetas and Lyctian 
ALgon shall sing to me : Alphesiboeus shall mimic the frisk- 
ing satyrs. These rites shall be ever thine, both when we 
yearly pay our solemn vows to the nymphs, and when we 
make the circuit of the fields. So long as the boar shall love 
the tops of the mountains ; so long as the fishes shall love 
the floods ; so long as bees shall feed on thyme, and grass- 
hoppers on dew, your honour, your name, and your praise 
shall still remain. As to Bacchus and Ceres, so to you the 
swains shall yearly perform their vows ; you too shall bind 
them to their vows. 

Mo. What, what returns shall I make to you for a song 
like that ? For neither the whispers of the rising south 

1 Ariusia, a district of Chios, now Scio, an island in the Archipelago, 
celebrated for its excellent wine. 

L. 55-90] BUCOLICS. 27 

wind, nor shores lashed by the wave, nor rivers that descend 
through rocky glens, please me so much. 

Me. First I will present you with this brittle reed. This 
taught me, " Corydon loved the fair Alexis." This same 
taught me, " Whose is this flock ? is it that of Meliboeus ? " 

Mo, But do you, Menalcas, accept this shepherd's crook, 
beautiful for the uniformity of its knobs and brass, which 
Antigenes never could get from me, though he often begged 
it ; and at that time he was very worthy of my love. 

28 BUCOLICS. [EcL. vi. 


Silenus, a demi-god and companion of Bacchus, noted for his love of 
wine and for his skill in music, here discourses on the formation of the 
world, and the nature of things, according to the doctrine of the 
Epicureans. The poem is addressed to Alfenus Varus, who had been 
appointed by Octavianus to apportion to the veterans the lands that had 
been assigned them in Cisalpine Gaul. Some think it was Q. Atius 


My Muse, Thalia, in her first attempt deigned to sport in 
Sicilian strains, nor was she ashamed to inhabit the woods. 
When I would sing of kings and battles, Apollo pulled my 
ear, and warned me thus : A shepherd, Tityrus, should 
heed the fattening of his sheep, and sing a humble lay. 
Now then, O Varus,i I will compose a pastoral song on 
my slender reed, for there will be poets in abundance 
eager to celebrate your praises, and record woe-begetting 
wars. I sing not unbidden strains ; yet whoso shall read 
these poems also, whoso shall read through love of them 
to him, O Varus, our tamarisks, our whole plantations, shall 
sing of you, nor is any page more acceptable to Phoebus than 
that which has inscribed on it the name of Varus. Proceed, 
O Muses. Two youthful swains, Chromis and Mnasylus, saw 
Silenus lying asleep in his cave, his veins swollen, as they 
always are, by yesterday's debauch. His garlands, all but 
fallen from his head, lay close by, and his hea\7 flagon hung 
by its Avell-worn handle. Taking hold of him, for often 
the old man had deluded them both with the promise of a 
song, they threw upon him bonds, formed from his own 
wreaths, ^gle comes unexpectedly upon the timorous 
swains, and joins them in the fun; ^gle, fairest of the Naiads; 

^ Varus was appointed to succeed Pollio in Cisalpine Gaul. He is 
said to have been a fellow-student with Virgil under Siron. 

L. 1-42] BUCOLICS. 29 

and, as he now looks up, she paints his forehead and temples 
with blood-red mulberries. He, smiling at the trick, says, 
Why do you fasten these bonds ? Loose me, swains : it is 
enough that you show you have been able to bind me. 
Hear the song which you desire : the song for you : for her 
I shall find another reward. At the same time he begins 
of his own accord. Then you might have seen the Fauns 
and wild beasts frisking in measured dance, then the stiff 
oaks waving their tops. Neither does the Parnassian rock ^ 
rejoice so much in Phoebus : nor do Rhodope and Ismarus ^ 
so much admire Orpheus [as did the Fauns Silenus]. 
For he sang how, through the mighty void, the seeds of 
earth, and air, and sea, and pure fire had been brought 
together ; how from these first principles all the elements, 
and the world's plastic globe itself, combined into a system : 
how the soil then began to be hard, to shut up Nereus 
apart ^ in the sea-bed, and by degrees to assume the forms 
of visible objects : and how anon the earth was astonished 
to see the new-born sun shine from on high ; and how from 
the clouds raised aloft, the showers fell : when first the 
woods began to rise, and when the animals, yet few, began 
to range the mountains, unknowing and unknown. He 
next tells of the stones which Pyrrha ■* threw, of the reign of 
Saturn, of the birds of Caucasus, and the theft of Prometheus.^ 

^ Parnassus, a celebrated mountain of Phocis in Greece, sacred to 
Apollo and the Muses, remarkable for its two summits. 

^ Rhodope and Ismarus, two high mountains in Thrace. 

■* i.e., to separate the waters into their channel, Nereus the sea-god 
being here put for the waters in general. 

* Pyrrha, the wife of Deucalion, in w'hose day all mankind was de- 
stroyed by a deluge, these two excepted. On consulting the oracle, 
they were directed to repair the loss liy throwing stones behind their 
backs ; those thrown by Pyrrha were changed into women, and those 
by Deucalion into men. 

* Prometheus, having made a man of clay, which he animated with 
fire stolen from heaven, was, for the impiety, chained to a rock on the 
top of Caucasus, where a vulture continually preyed upon his liver. 

30 BUCOLICS. [EcL. vr. 

To these he adds how the sailors had called aloud for 
Hylas, left behind at the fountain ; ^ how the whole 
shore resounded Hylas, Hylas. He sings how Pasiphae^ 
solaced herself by the love of the snow-white bull : 
happy woman had she been if herds had never existed ! 
iVh, ill-fated female, what madness seized you ? The 
daughters of Prcetus ^ with imitative lowings filled the fields : 
yet none of them sought such vile embraces, however 
they might have dreaded the plough on their necks, and 
often felt for horns on their smooth foreheads. Ah, ill-fated 
woman, you are now roaming on the mountains ! He, 
resting his snowy side on the soft hyacinth, ruminates the 
pale-green grass under some gloomy oak, or follows after 
some cow in the numerous herd. Ye nymphs, close now, 
ye Dictaean "* nymphs, close the entrances to the forests, 
if by any chance the bull's wandering footsteps may 
present themselves to my sight. Perhaps some heifers may 
lead him on to the Gortynian stalls,^ either enticed by the 
verdant pasture, or in search of the herd. Then he sings of 
the virgin, charmed by the apples of the Hesperides : ^ next 
he surrounds the sisters of Phaethon "^ with the moss of bitter 

^ Hylas, a youth, the favourite of Hercules, who accompanied the 
Argonautic expedition. He was drowned in the Ascanius, a river of 
Bithynia, which afterwards received his name. 

^ Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, king of Crete, who disgraced herself 
by her unnatural passion. 

* Proetus, king of Argolis, whose three daughters became insane for 
neglecting the worship of Bacchus, or, according to some, for preferring 
themselves to Juno. 

^ Cretan nymphs, from Dicte, a mountain in the island of Crete, 
where Jupiter was worshipped. 

^ Gortyna, an ancient city of Crete, the country around which pro- 
duced excellent pastures. 

* Alluding to the story of Atalanta. 

^ The sisters of Phaethon, bewailing his unhappy end, were changed 
into poplars by Jupiter. It may mean daughters of Phaethon, as in 
later times the name Phaethon was applied to Sol, 

L. 43-81] BUCOLICS. 31 

bark, and raises them as stately alders from the ground. 
Then he sings how one of the Sister Muses led Gallus, as 
he was wandering by the streams of Permessus,i to the 
Aonian mountains ; and how the whole choir of Phoebus 
rose up to do honour to the noble man : how Linus, 
shepherd of song divine, his locks adorned with flowers and 
bitter parsley, thus addressed him : Here, take these pipes 
the Muses give you, which they gave before to the ancient 
bard of Ascra ; - by which he was wont to draw down the 
rigid wald ashes from the mountains. On these let the 
origin of Grynium's grove ^ be sung by you ; in such strains 
that there may be no grove in which Apollo may have 
greater pride. Why should I tell either how he sang of 
Scylla * the daughter of Nisus, of whom it is fabled that 
she, her snowy waist begirt with barking monsters, tossed 
Dulichlan ships, and in the deep abyss, alas, tore the tremb- 
ling sailors in pieces by her sea-dogs ? or how he described 
the transformed limbs of Tereus ? ^ what banquets and what 
presents Philomela prepared for him ? with what speed he 
sought the deserts, and with what wings, ill-fated one, he 
fluttered over the palace once his own ? All those songs he 

^ Permessus, a river issuing from Mount Helicon, in Aonia (Boeotia), 
sacred to the Muses. 

- Hesiod, so named from Ascra, a village of Bccotia, where he was 

* Grynium, a town on the coast of Mysia, in Asia Minor, where 
Apollo had a temple. 

■• Scylla, daughter of Nisus, king of Mcgara, is here confounded with 
.Scylla, daughter of Phorcys, who was changed by Circe into a frightful 
monster, and gave her name to the rocks between Italy and Sicily. 
Dulichian ships, those of Ulysses, who was king of the island of Duli- 

® Tereus, a king of the Thracians. lie married Procne, who, in re- 
venge for his having violated her sister Philomela, and cut out her 
tongue, killed his son Ilys, and servod him up at a banquet. Accord- 
ing to the poets, they were all changed into different kinds of 

32 BUCOLICS. [ECL. vi. 

sings, which Eurotas ^ heard and was happy, and bade its 
laurels learn by heart when Phoebus played of old : the 
valleys, smitten by the sound, re-echo to the stars ; till 
Vesper warned the shepherds to pen their sheep in the 
folds, and reckon their number ; and then went forth from 
reluctant Olympus. 

1 Eurotas (Basilipotamo), a river of Laconia, washing ancient 
Sparta, and falling into the Mediterranean. 

L. 1-21] BUCOLICS. 33 


In this Eclogue, Virgil, as Melibceus, gives an account of a poetical 
contest between Thyrsis and Corydon. 

MELiBoeus, Corydon, Thyrsis. 

M. As it chanced, Daphnis had sat down under a whis- 
pering holm-oak, and Corydon and Thyrsis had driven their 
flocks together ; Thyrsis his sheep, Corydon his goats dis- 
tended with milk : both in the flower of their age, Arcadians 
both,^ equally prepared to sing and to reply. In this 
direction, the he-goat himself, the husband of the flock, 
had strayed away from me, while I am engaged in protecting 
my delicate myrtles from the cold, and I espy Daphnis : 
when he in turn sees me, he cries out, Come hither quickly, 
Melibceus ; your goat is safe, and your kids too ; and if 
you can linger a while, rest under this shade. Your bullocks 
will of themselves come across the meads to drink. Here 
Mincius- has fringed the verdant banks with tender reed, 
and from the sacred oak swarms of bees resound. What 
could I do ? I had neither an Alcippe, nor a Phyllis, to shut 
up at home my weaned lambs ; but the contest, Corydon 
against Thyrsis, was a great one. So, after all, I postponed 
my serious business to their sport. Accordmgly the two 
began to contend in alternate strains. The Muses wished 
them to compete in Amoebaean verse. The one Corydon, 
the other Thyrsis, recited each in turn. 

C. Ye Libethrian nymphs, my delight, either favour me 

' i.e., both skilled in music, which was greatly cultivated among the 
Arcadians. No reference to their country is intended, but merely to 
their musical excellence. 

- Mincius, the Mincio, a river in the nortli of Italy, falling into the 
Po, below Mantua. 



with such a song as you did my Codrus,i — \^q makes verses 
next to those of Phoebus, — or, since we cannot all attain to 
this, here my tuneful pipe shall hang on this sacred pine, 

T. Ye Arcadian shepherds, deck with ivy your rising poet, 
that Codrus' sides may burst with envy ; or if he (Codrus) 
praises yours beyond what is just, bind his brow with lady's 
glove, lest the evil tongue should hurt your future bard, 

C. To you, Delian goddess, young Mycon presents for me 
this head of a bristly boar, and the branching horns of a 
long-lived stag. If this success be lasting, you shall stand 
at full length in polished marble, your legs encased in the 
scarlet buskin. 

T, A pail of milk and these cakes, Priapus,^ are enough 
for you to expect yearly; you are the keeper of a poor 
garden. Now we have erected a marble statue of you such 
as the times admit ; but if the lambing shall recruit my 
flock, you shall be fashioned in gold. 

C. Galatea, daughter of Nereus, sweeter to me than 
Hybla's thyme, whiter than swans, fairer than pale ivy, soon 
as the well-fed steers shall return to their stalls, come, if you 
have any regard for Corydon, 

T. Nay, may I even appear to you more bitter than 
Sardinian herbs,^ more prickly than butcher's broom, more 
worthless than upcast sea-weed, if this day be not already 
longer to me than a whole year. Go home, my well-fed 
steers ; if you have any shame, go home. 

C, You mossy fountains, and grass more soft than sleep, 
and verdant arbutus that covers you with its thin shade, 

^ Codrus, supposed to be a Latin poet, contemporary with Virgil. 

^ Priapus, a deity among the ancients, who presided over gardens. 
He was the son of Bacchus and Venus, and was chiefly worshipped at 
Lampsacus, on the Hellespont. 

^ Sardinian herbs, a bitter herb which grew in the island of Sardinia, 
said to cause convulsions and death. As it produced a sort of convul- 
sive and involuntary grin, it is said to have given origin to the phrase 
"a sardonic smile." But this is doubtful. 

L- 22-70] BUCOLICS. 35 

ward off the midsummer heat from my flock : now scorching 
summer comes, now the buds swell on the joyful tendrils. 

T. Here is a glowing hearth, and resinous torches ; here 
is always plenty of fire, and lintels blackened with continual 
smoke. Here we as much regard the cold of Boreas^ as 
either the wolf does the number [of the sheep], or foaming 
rivers their banks. 

C. Junipers and prickly chestnuts stand bristling'^ all 
about, beneath each tree its apples lie outspread ; now all 
things smile ; but were fair Alexis absent from these hills, 
you would see even the rivers dry. 

T. The soil is parched ; through the excessive heat 
the dying herbage thirsts ; Bacchus has envied our hills the 
shadow of his vine ; but at the approach of our Phyllis, 
every grove shall look green, and Jove shall abundantly 
descend in fertilising showers. 

C. The poplar is most pleasing to Hercules, the vine 
to Bacchus, to lovely Venus the myrtle, to Phoebus his 
own bays ; Phyllis loves the hazels : so long as Phyllis 
loves them, neither shall the myrtle, nor the laurel of 
Phoebus surpass the hazels. 

T. The ash is the fairest tree in the plantations, the pine 
in the gardens, the poplar by the rivers, the silver-fir on 
lofty mountains ; but if, my charming Lycidas, you make 
me more frequent visits, the ash in the woods shall give 
place to you, and the pine in the gardens. 

M. These verses I remember, and that being over- 
matched Thyrsis contended in vain. From that time 
Corydon is Corydon to us.^ 

^ Boreas, the name of the north wind. According to the ancient 
poets, Boreas was the son of Astrseus and Aurora. 

'^ The force of " stant," " stand," is more than simply sunt, "are." 
It seems to suggest the rough and prickly character of the shrubs and 
their fruits. 

^ That is, Corydon is our poet. He has no rival in our eyes. 

36 BUCOLICS. [EcL. viii. 


This Eclogue was sent to Pollio as he was returning in B.C. 39 from 
Dalmatia after subduing the Parthini, an lUyrian tribe. It consists of 
two unconnected songs. Damon laments the loss of his mistress ; 
while Alphesiboeus, in the character of a woman, records the charms 
of an enchantress. It is usually called " Pharmaceutria," i.e. The 
" Sorceress," from the latter part of it. 

Damon, Alphesibceus. 

The song of the shepherds, Damon and Alphesiboeus, 
whom the heifers, unmindful of their pasture, gazed at in 
wonder as they strove ; at whose lay the lynxes were struck 
with astonishment, and the rivers having changed their 
channels, caused their currents to halt ; the songs of Damon 
and Alphesiboeus I will celebrate. 

Whether you are now passing to my joy over the rocks of 
broad Timavus,^ or cruising along the coast of the lUyrian 
Sea;- say, will that day ever come, when I shall be allowed to 
sing your deeds ? say, shall it come that I may be permitted 
to diffuse over the world your verses, which alone merit com- 
parison with the lofty style of Sophocles? With you my muse 
began; with you it shall end. Accept poems undertaken 
by your command, and permit this ivy to creep around your 
temples among your victorious laurels. 

Scarce had the cold shades of night retired from the sky, 
what time the dew on the tender grass is most grateful to 
the cattle, when Damon, leaning on his smooth olive staff, 
thus began : — 

D. Arise, Lucifer, and advancing usher in the kindly light 
of day ; while I, beguiled by a husband's unrequited love for 

•^ Timavus, the Timavo, a river of Italy, rising at the foot of the Alps, 
and falling into the gulf of Trieste. 
2 The Adriatic Sea between Italy and Dalmatia. 

L. 1-47] BUCOLICS. 17 

Nysa, utter my complaints, and now dying, address the 
gods in my last hour, although I have profited nothing by 
taking them to witness. Begin with me, my flute, Msenalian 
strains. Mtenalus^ always has a whispering grove and 
echoing pines ; he ever hears the love-songs of shepherds, 
and Pan, the first who suffered not the reeds to be unem- 
ployed. Begin with me, my flute, JNItenalian strains. Nysa 
is given in marriage to Mopsus ! what may not we lovers 
expect? Griffins now shall mate with horses, and in the 
succeeding age the timorous does shall come to drink with 
dogs. Begin with me, my flute, Msnalian strains. Mopsus, 
cut fresh nuptial torches : for a wife is on the point of being 
brought home. Scatter nuts, bridegroom ; for you the 
evening star is leaving the heights of CEta.- Begin with me, 
my flute, Msenalian strains. O Bride, you are wedded to a 
husband worthy of you ! while you disdain all others, and 
while you detest my flute and goats, my shaggy eye-brows, 
and my overgrown beard ; and yet you believe not that any 
god regards the affairs of mortals. Begin with me, my flute, 
Masnalian strains. When you were but a little girl, I saw 
you with your mother gathering the dewy apples within our 
enclosure ; I was your guide ; I had then just entered on 
my twelfth year, I was then just able to reach the slender 
boughs from the ground. As soon as I saw you, how I was 
undone ! O how the madness of love carried me away ! 
Begin with me, my flute, Mrenalian strains. Now I know 
what Love is : Ismarus, or Rhodopc, or the remotest Gara- 
mantes,'* produced him on rugged cliffs, a boy not of our 
race or blood. Begin with me, my flute, Maenalian strains. 

^ Ma;nalus, a mountain of Arcadia in Greece, sacred to Pan. It 
was covered witli pine trees. 

^ CEta, a celebrated mountain, or, more properly, chain of mountains, 
between Thessaly and Greece Proper. It was so high,, that the poets 
spoke of the sun, moon, and stars as rising behind it. 

■* Garamantes, a people in the interior of Africa, occupying an oasis in 
the great desert now called Sahara. 



Relentless Love taught the mother i to imbrue her hands in 
her own children's blood j a cruel mother too were you: 
whether more cruel was the mother or more relentless the 
boy? Relentless was the boy: you, mother, too, were 
cruel. Begin with me, my flute, Mcenalian strains. Now 
let the wolf, contrary to expectation, fly from the sheep ; the 
hard oaks bear ruddy apples ; the alder bloom with 
narcissus; rich amber exude from the tamarisk bark; let 
owls contend with swans; let Tityrus be Orpheus; an 
Orpheus in the woods, an Arion^ among the Dolphins : begin 
with me, my flute, Mcenalian strains, let all be shoreless 
ocean. Ye woods, farewell ; from the summit of yon aerial 
mountain will I throw myself headlong into the waves: 
receive this last present from me dying. Cease, my flute, 
now cease Maenalian strains. 

Thus Damon : Pierian muses, say what Alphesiboeus 
sang. All things are not possible to all. 

A. Bring forth water, and encircle these altars with a 
soft fillet : burn thereon oily vervain and male^ frankincense, 
that I may try, by sacred magic spells, to make my lover 
madly love. Only charms are here wanting. Bring him 
home from the town, my charms, bring Daphnis home. 
Charms can even draw down the moon from heaven ; by 
charms Circe* transformed the companions of Ulysses ; the 

1 This cruel mother is Medea, who, to be avenged on Jason for pre- 
ferring another woman to her, slew, in his presence, her own sons whom 
she bore to him. 

^ Arion, a famous lyric poet and musician of the isle of Lesbos. On 
his retm-n to Corinth from Italy, the mariners formed a plot to murder 
him for his riches, when he threw himself into the sea, and was 
carried on the back of a dolphin to Tajnarus in the ]Morea. 

"^ i.e., frankincense of the best sort. 

* Circe, a daughter of Sol and Perse, celebrated for her knowledge 
of magic and poisonous herbs. She changed the companions of 
Ulysses into swine ; but afterwards, at his solicitation, restored them 
to their former state. 

L. 48-103] BUCOLICS. 39 

cold snake is made to burst in the meadows by incantation. 
Bring him home from the town, my charms, bring Daphnis 
home. First, these three threads, with threefold colours 
varied, I round you twine ; and thrice lead your image 
round these altars. The gods delight in uneven numbers. 
Bring him home from the town, my charms, bring Daphnis 
home. Bind, Amaryllis, three colours in three knots ; 
just bind them, Amaryllis ; and say, I bind the chains of 
Venus. Bring him home from the town, my charms, bring 
Daphnis home. As this clay hardens and as this wax 
dissolves with one and the same fire, so may Daphnis by 
my love. Sprinkle the salt cake, and burn the crackling 
laurels in bitumen. Me cruel Daphnis burns ; I burn this 
laurel over Daphnis. Bring him home from the town, my 
charms, bring Daphnis home. May such love possess 
Daphnis as when a heifer, tired with ranging after the bull 
through lawns and lofty groves, hopeless falls prostrate on 
the green sedge by a stream of water, and heeds not to 
depart even late at night : let such love seize Daphnis ; 
nor let his cure be my concern. Bring him home from the 
town, my charms, bring Daphnis home. That faithless 
one left these garments with me some time ago, the dear 
pledges of himself; which I now commit to you, O earth, 
at my very threshold : these pledges owe Daphnis to me. 
Bring him home from the town, my charms, bring Daphnis 
home. These herbs, and these baneful plants, gathered in 
Pontus,^ Moeris himself gave me : they grow in abundance in 
Pontus. By these have I seen Moeris transform himself into 
a wolf, and skulk in the woods, often from the deep graves 
call forth the ghosts, and transfer the springing harvests to 
another ground. Bring him home from the town, my 
charms, bring Daphnis home. Bring forth ashes, Amaryllis, 
and throw them over your head into a flowing brook ; 
look not behind you. Daphnis with tlicse I will assail : 

^ Pontus, a country of Asia Minor, bordering on llic Euxine. 


nought he regards the gods, nought my charms. Bring 
him home from the town, my charms, bring Daphnis 
home. See the very ashes have spontaneously seized the 
altars with flickering flames, while I delay to remove them. 
May it be a happy omen. 'Tis certainly something strange ; 
and Hylax^ is barking in the entrance. Do I believe it ? 
or do those in love form to themselves fantastic dreams ? 
Spare him ; Daphnis comes from the town ; now spare 
him, my charms. 

' Hylax, the name of a dog. 

L. 1-18] BUCOLICS. 41 


Virgil having been promised the restoration of his farm by Octavianus, 
went back to Mantua to claim his property, but he found himself re- 
sisted by Arrius, to whom it had been given, and his life threatened. 
He fled before the angry soldier, and again " appealed unto Caesar," 
by whom he was fully and finally re-instated. 

Lycidas, Mceris. 

L. Whither, Mceris, do your feet bear you ? is it to the 
town, whither the way leads ? 

M. Ah, Lycidas, we have Uved to see the day when a 
stranger, occupant of my little farm, a thing I never feared, 
should say, this property is mine ; move off, you former 
tenants. Now vanquished and disconsolate, since fortune 
turns all things upside down, I am conveying to him these 
kids, and may bad luck go with them. 

L. Surely, I heard that your master, Menalcas, had saved 
by his poems all that ground where the hills begin to sink 
and to lower their ridge in a gentle slope, even to the river 
(Mincius) and to the aged beech trees, mere broken tops. 

M. You heard it, Lycidas, and there was a rumour to 
that effect ; but our poems have as much power against 
the soldiers' weapons, as they say the Chaonian^ doves have 
when the eagle swoops upon them. But had not a crow on 
the left previously warned me from a hollow holm-oak to 
end quickly the rising cjuarrel by any means whatever, 
neither your Mceris here, nor Menalcas himself, would now 
be alive. 

L. Alas, does so great wickedness take possession of any 
one ? Alas, Menalcas, were the charms of your poetry almost 

^ Chaonia was a mountainous part of Epirus, in which was the 
sacred grove of Dodona, where pigeons were said to deliver oracles. 


snatched from us with yourself? Who, then, would there 
have been to sing of the nymphs ? who with flowering 
herbs to strew the ground, or cover with verdant shade the 
springs ? or who to sing those songs which I lately picked up 
from you quietly when youwerebetakingyourself to Amaryllis, 
the delight of all of us ? " Feed, Tityrus, my goats while I 
am on my way back, the road is short ; and when they are 
fed, drive them, Tityrus, to watering ; and whilst doing so, 
beware of meeting the he-goat ; he butts with the horn." 

M. Nay, rather those which he sang to Varus, and that 
too though unfinished : " Varus, the swans shall raise your 
name aloft to the stars in their song, if Mantua but remain 
in our possession ; Mantua, alas, too near ill-fated 
Cremona ! " ^ 

L. If you retain any, begin ; so may your swarms avoid 
Cyrnean yews :- so may your cows, fed with cytisus, distend 
their udders. The Muses have made me also a poet : I 
too have my verses ; the shepherds call me, too, bard : but 
to them I give no credit : for as yet methinks I sing nothing 
worthy of a Varius or a Cinna,^ but only gabble like* a goose 
among melodious swans, 

M. That very thing, Lycidas, is what I am about ; and 
now am turning it over in silence with myself, if I can 
recollect it : for it is no mean song. " Come hither, 
Galatea : for what sport have you among the waves ? Here 
is blooming spring ; here, by the rivers, earth pours forth her 
various flowers ; here the white poplar overhangs the grotto, 

^ Cremona, a city of Italy on the northern Lank of the Po. Its lands 
were divided among the veteran soldiers of Augustus. 

2 Cyrnus, now Corsica, an island in the Mediterranean, near the coast 
of Italy. The honey produced here had a bitter taste, in consequence 
of the bees feeding on the yew trees, with which the island 

3 Cinna, a grandson of Pompey. He was the intimate friend of 
Augustus, and a patron of Virgil. 

■* The poet puns upon the name of Anser, a contemporary poet. 

L. 19-67] BUCOLICS. 43 

and the limber vines weave shady bowers. Come hither : 
leave the wild waves to lash the shores." 

L. How about those verses which I heard you singing 
by yourself one cloudless evening ? I remember the tune 
if I could recollect the words. 

M. Daphnis, why gaze you on the risings of the signs of 
ancient date ? Lo, Dionaean Caesar's^ star has appeared ; the 
star under the influence of which the fields were to rejoice 
in their produce and the grape acquire its ripening here, on 
sunny hills. Daphnis, plant your pear-trees. Posterity will 
pluck the fruit due to your care. Age bears away all things, 
even the memory itself. I remember that, when a boy, I 
often spent long summer-days in song. Now all these 
songs I have forgotten ; now his voice itself has left 
Moeris ; the wolves frrst caught sight of Moeris.^ But these 
Menalcas himself will often enough repeat to you. 

L. By framing excuses you put off for a long time my 
fond desire. And now the whole sea for you lies smooth 
and still ; and see how every breath of sighing wind has 
died away. Just here we are midway on our journey. 
Bianor's ^ tomb .comes now in sight. Here, where the 
swains are stripping off the dense leaves, here Moeris let us 
sing. Here leave your kids ; after all we shall reach the 
town. Or if we are afraid that the night may draw to rain 
ere that, let us go on still singing ; the way is less tedious. 
So that we may sing as we go, I will ease you of this burden. 

M. Shepherd, no more words ; and let us mind our 
pressing business, ^^'e shall sing those songs to more 
advantage when [Menalcas] himself arrives. 

^ Caesar of the Julian family sprung from .ffineas the son of Venus, 
whom mythology makes the daughter of Jupiter and Dione. 

- Alluding to a superstitious notion, that if a wolf saw a man before 
it was seen by him, it made him lose his voice. 

^ The same as Ocnus, the founder of Mautua. 



Cornelius Gallus, to whom this Eclogue is inscribed, was both a soldier 
and a poet. He was greatly enamoured of Cytheris, whom he calls 
Lycoris, celebrated for her beauty and her intrigues ; but she forsook 
him, and accompanied one of the soldiers of Agrippa into Gaul. 


Allow me, O Arethusa,i this last effort. A few verses, 
but such as Lycoris herself may read, I must sing to my 
Gallus. Who can deny a verse to Gallus ? So, when you 
glide beneath the Sicilian wave, may the salt Doris ^ not 
intermingle her streams with yours. Begin : let us sing the 
anxious loves of Gallus, while the flat-nosed goats browse 
the tender shrubs. We sing not to the deaf; the woods 
echo it all. What groves, virgin Naiads, or what glades 
detained you, while Gallus pined with ill-requited love? 
for neither any of the summits of Parnassus, nor those of 
Pindus 2 nor Aonian Aganippe, kept you back. The very 
bays, the very tamarisks bemoaned him : even pine-crowned 
Maenalus bewailed him as he lay beneath a lonely ledge, 
and over him the rocks of cold Lycaeus ^ wept. His sheep 
too stand around him, nor are they ashamed of me (as their 
poet) ; and, O divine bard, be not ashamed of your flock ; 

1 Arethusa, the nymph who presided over the fountain of the same 
name in Sicily. 

2 Doris, a sea nymph, the mother of the Nereids ; here used to express 
the sea itself. 

3 Pindus, a mountain between Thessaly and Epirus, sacred to Apollo 
and the Muses. Aonian Aganippe, a celebrated fountain of Boeotia of 
which Aonia was a district. 

■* LycKUS, a mountain of Arcadia, sacred to Jupiter, and also to 

L. 1-46] BUCOLICS. 45 

even fair Adonis ^ tended sheep by the streams. The 
shepherd too came up ; the slow-paced swineherd came ; 
Menalcas came wet from the mast, the winter's food. All 
ask who is the object of this passion of yours ? Apollo came : 
Gallus, he says, why this frenzied love ? Lycoris, for whom 
you care, has followed another through snows and horror- 
breeding camps. Silvanus ^ too came up, his head adorned 
with rustic glory, tossing the flowering fennels and giant 
lilies. Pan, the god of Arcadia, came : whom we ourselves 
have seen all red with the elder's purple berries and 
with vermilion. Is there to be no end of this ? Cupid likes 
not such things. Relentless Cupid is not satisfied with 
tears, nor grassy meads with streams, nor bees with cytisus, 
nor goats with leaves. But he in sorrow thus replied. Yet 
you Arcadians shall sing these my loves for me to your 
mountains, you Arcadians, alone skilled in song. Oh how 
softly then may my bones repose, if your pipe in future 
times shall sing my loves ! And would to heaven I had 
been one of you, and either keeper of a flock of yours, or 
vintager of the ripe grape ! At any rate, whether Phyllis or 
Amyntas, or any one else, had been my love, what then 
though Amyntas be swarthy ? the violet is black, and black 
too are hyacinths ; either would now be resting with me 
among the willows under the limber vine; Phyllis would now 
be gathering garlands for me, Amyntas would be singing to 
me. Here are cool fountains ; here, Lycoris, soft meads, here 
a grove : here in your country I might wear away and die 
with you by mere lapse of time. As it is, passionate love 
of stern Mars detains me, in the midst of darts and 
opposing foes. You, far from your native land, — forbid 
that I should believe such a thing, — are now alone 

1 Adonis, a youth, the favourite of Venus : having lost his life by the 
bite of a wild boar, he was changed into the flower Anemone. 

2 Silvanus, a rural deity among the Romans, who presided over 

46 BUCOLICS. [EcL. X. 

and apart from me, beholding nothing but Alpine snows, 
and the colds of the Rhine, ah, hard-hearted one. Ah, 
may these colds not hurt you ! ah, may the sharp ice not 
wound your tender feet ! I will go, and practise on the 
Sicilian shepherd's reed those songs which were composed 
by me in Chalcidian strain, i I am resolved rather to suffer 
on in the woods among the dens of wild beasts, and to in- 
scribe my loves upon the tender trees: they will increase; you, 
my loves, will increase. Meanwhile, in company with the 
nymphs, I will traverse Msenalus, or hunt the fierce boars. 
No colds shall hinder me from coursing with my hounds the 
Parthenianglades.2 Already over rocks and resounding groves 
I seem to roam : It is my delight to shoot Cydonian shafts 
from the Parthian bow : as if this was a cure for my passion ; 
or as if the god Cupid could learn to be melted by human 
woes. Now, neither the nymphs of the groves nor songs 
themselves charm me any more : ye very woods, once 
more give way. No sufferings of ours can change him, 
though amidst frosts we drink of Hebrus,^ and undergo the 
Sithonian snows ^ of watery winter ; or even if we should 
tend our flocks in Ethiopia,^ beneath the sign of Cancer, 
when the dying rind withers on the stately elm. Love 
conquers everything; let us also yield to love. These 
strains, divine Muses of Pieria, it shall suffice your poet 
to have sung, while sitting and weaving his little basket 
of slender osiers : these you will rnake of the highest 

1 That is, in the elegiac strain of Euphorion, a Greek poet of Chalcis 
in Euboea. 

^ Parthenius was a mountain of Arcadia, for which it is here used ; 
as Cydonian shafts is used for Cretan darts, — Cydon being a city of 

^ The cold of the Hebrus in Thrace was celebrated, as we find from 
Horace, i Ep. 3. 3. 

* Sithonian snows, from Sithonia, a part of Thrace. 

^ By the ancients this name was applied to modern Abyssinia and 
the southern regions of Africa. 

L. 47-77] BUCOLICS. 47 

worth to Gallus ; to Gallus, for whom my love grows as 
much every hour, as the green alder shoots up in the early 
spring. Let us arise : the shade is wont to prove hurtful 
to singers ; the juniper's shade now grows noxious ; the 
shades are damaging even to the crops. Go home, my 
full-fed goats ; the evening star arises, go home. 

G E O R G I C S. 



The Greek word Georgics means "agricultural affairs," and this 
poem, the most perfect and the most polished of the writings of 
Virgil, treats of all matters connected with the operations of 
the husbandman. Our own Addison says of it — " I shall con- 
clude the poem to be the most complete, elaborate, and finished 
piece of all antiquity. The yEneis is of a nobler kind, but the 
Georgic is more perfect in its kind. The ^Eneis has a greater 
variety of beauties, but those of the Georgic are more exquisite. 
In short, the Georgic has all the perfection that can be ex- 
pected in a poem written by the greatest poet, in the flower of 
his age, when his invention was ready, his imagination warm, 
his judgment settled, and all his faculties in their full vigour and 
maturity." The poem consists of Four Books, and was written, 
as Virgil himself tells us, at the suggestion of Maecenas. It 
was intended to do for Italy what the Works and Days of 
Hesiod did for Greece, but the imitations of Hesiod are compara- 
tively few. After finishing the Eclogues, which received high 
commendation froni some of the foremost men in Rome, and 
even from audiences in the theatre, Virgil had evidently gained 
more confidence in himself, and so in his second work of 
authorship he feels the ground firmer beneath him, and now 
strikes forth with more independence and more originality than 
he had shown in the Eclogues. And besides this, having been 
brought up in the country till he was 17 or 18 years of age, he 
was no doubt intimately acquainted with all the daily operations 
of agriculture, with the nature and the habits of domestic 
animals, the seasons for ploughing, for sowing and for reaping ; 
with the weather and weather-signs, and with all other matters 


to which a husbandman requires to attend. Moreover, his 
intense love of nature, and his deep sympathy with her in 
all her relations and all her objects, led him to take a special 
delight in performing the task which his patron asked him to 
undertake. He seems to have prepared for it with great care, 
and to have ransacked all the old writers on the subject, to 
verify his facts and to mature his instructions. He consulted 
Hesiod and Aratus, Nicander, Aristotle, Theophrastus, Cato, 
Varro, Lucretius, and in fact all authors Avho spoke de re riistica. 
His system of farming is quite Italian, and many of his rules 
are acted on in Italy to this day. 

The long-continued struggle of the civil war in Italy had 
almost put an end to agricultural industry, and had produced 
famine over the length and breadth of the land. The strength 
and experience of the rural population had been drafted off to 
the wars, where many of the brave peasantry had fought and 
perished. Their places as husbandmen had been supplied by 
the veterans of the triumviri, who showed themselves totally unfit 
to undertake the management of farms and the rearing of cattle. 
Virgil tells us that Maecenas suggested such a poem to him, 
but it is very likely that he himself was urged to it by his own 
ardent love of the country, which made the subject a congenial 
one, and also because he jjitied the new settlers, who were 
ignorant of the right methods of cultivation. i Whatever the 
object and the instigation were, we should be grateful for the 
possession of one of the most elegant compositions of ancient 
literature. Virgil may not have been an infallible farmer's 
guide, but there can be little doubt that his precepts if acted on 
would lead to great improvements on the old ways. 

To embellish the poem and relieve the dry details of the 
various directions for tillage of the ground, for cattle-rearing, 
vine-growing, and bee-keeping, he skilfully interweaves some 
delightful episodes on moral, mythological, and philosophical 
subjects, which give an interest and a charm to the whole. 
Some of these are very beautiful, such as the praises of Italy, 
the pleasures of country life, the legend of Orpheus and Eury- 
dice, the story of Aristceus, the portents preceding the death of 

1 Ignarosque vice mecum miseratus agrestis 


Julius CjEsar, and many others. The poem of the Georgics was 
written after the Eclogues, and is said to have occupied the 
poet for seven years, probably from ■^'] to 30 B.C. His taste 
and judgment were now more mature, and he had more 
leisure and peace of mind to compose a long and systematic 
work. It is said that he lived partly at Mantua, though mostly 
in Campania, during its composition, but on this point we 
have no certain knowledge. 

In didactic poetry Virgil remains unrivalled. His versifica- 
tion is superior to that of any other ancient author; he has 
modulated the hexameter to perfection. He seems to have 
chosen the position of words with the greatest care, and in 
many lines to have purposely suited the sound to the sense 
without too often straming after that effect, as some of our 
English poets have done. 

In Thomson's Seasons^ and Gray's Rural Sports., many 
passages will be found with a remarkable resemblance to parts 
of the Georgics. 



This Poem, undertaken at the particular request of Maecenas, to whom 
it is dedicated, has justly been esteemed the most perfect and finished 
of Virgil's works. Of the Four Books of which it consists, the l-'irst 
treats of ploughing anJ preparing the ground ; the Second, of sowing 
and planting ; the Third, of the management of cattle ; and the Fourth 
gives an account of bees, and of the mode of keeping them. 

What makes luxuriant corn crops ; under what star 
it is proper to turn up the earth and to wed the vines to 
tlie elms ; what care oxen require, what is the proper treat- 
ment for tending sheep; and how great experience is needed 
for managing the frugal liees, henceforth, O Maecenas, 
I will begin to sing. Ve brilliant lights of the world, that 
conduct down lieaven's slope the quickly moving year ; 
O Bacchus and fostering Ceres, if by your gift mortals 
exchanged the Chaonian acorn for rich ears of grain, 
and mingled draughts of Achelous^ with the new-found 
wine ; and ye I'auns, helpful deities of rustics, ye Fauns 
and virgin Dryads, advance together : your bounteous gifts I 
sing. And you, O Neptune, to whom the earth, struck with 
your mighty trident, first gave forth the neighing steed; 
and you, AristKus, tenant of the groves, for whom three 

^ Achelous (Aspro Potamo), a river of Epirus in Greece, fabled to 
have been the first river that sprang from the earth after the deluge ; 
hence it was frequently put by the ancients, as it is here, for water. 

56 GEORGICS. [Book i. 

hundred snow-white bullocks crop Cea's^ fertile glades: 
you chiefly, O Pan, guardian of sheep,. O god of Tegea,^ 
if your own Meenalus be your care, draw nigh propitious, 
leaving your native grove, and the dells of Lycaeus : and 
you Minerva, producer of the olive ; and you, O youthful 
Triptolemus, inventor of the crooked plough ; and you 
Sylvanus, bearing a tender cypress plucked up by the 
root : come gods and goddesses all, whose charge it is to 
guard the fields, both you who cause new crops to spring 
from no seed, and you who on the sown lands send down 
from heaven abundant showers. 

And you especially, O Cffisar, concerning whom it is yet 
uncertain what councils of the gods are soon to have you ; 
whether you will choose to guard cities, or prefer the care of 
continents, and whether the widely extended globe shall 
receive you, giver of its increase, and lord of its seasons, 
binding your temples with the myrtle sacred to your mother: 
or whether you become a god of the boundless ocean, and 
mariners worship your divinity alone; whether remotest 
Thule^ is to be subject to you, and Tethys^ is to purchase you 
for her son-in-law with all her waves; or whether you will add 
yourself to the slow months, as a new constellation, where 
there is space vacant between Erigone and the Scorpion's 
pursuing claws: the blazing Scorpion of his own accord 
already contracts his arms and leaves for you more than an 
equal proportion of the sky ; whatever you are to be — for 
Tartarus does not hope for you as its king, and let not such 
a fell desire of empire seize you, though Greece admires her 

1 Cea (Zea), an island in the Archipelago, one of the Cyclades. 

- Pan is so called, from Tegea, a town of Arcadia, which was sacred lo 

^ "Thule," variously identified with Zetland, Jutland, Greenland, 
Iceland, and even part of Norway. 

■* Tethys, the chief of the sea-deities, was the wife of Oceanus. The 
word is often used by the poets to express the sea. 

L 16-57] GEORGICS. 57 

Elysian fields, and though Proserpine/ when asked to return, 
is not incUned to follow her mother — grant me an easy 
course, and favour my adventurous enterprise ; and joining 
with me in pity for the rustics ignorant of right modes of 
cultivation, enter on }our functions as a deity, and accustom 
yourself even now to be invoked by prayers. 

In the newly opened spring, when cold moisture descends 
from the snow-covered hills, and the soil loosens and 
crumbles beneath the western breeze; then let my steers 
begin to groan under the entered plough, and the share to 
glitter, polished by the furrow. That field especially answers 
the expectation of the greedy farmer which twice hath felt 
the sun, and twice the cold f the immense harvests of such 
a field are wont to burst the barns. 

But before we break u}) with the plough-share soil 
unknown to us, let us take care to make ourselves acquainted 
beforehand with the prevailing winds, and the variations of 
the weather, and also with the appropriate modes of cultiva- 
tion, and the peculiar character of each locality ; what each 
district produces, and what it rejects. Here grain crops, 
there grapes, grow more successfully ; at another place, 
young trees and grass unbidden flourish. Don't you see 
how Tmolus^ sends us saffron odours, India ivory, the 
effeminate Sabxans frankincense peculiarly their own, but 

' Proserpine, daughter of Ceres, and wife of I'luto. 

- "The usual custom was to plough the land three times — in the 
spring, in the summer, and in the autumn. If, however, the soil was 
unusually hard, there was another at the end of the autumn, and it is 
to such a process that the poet here alludes ; the land having thus, 
in the course of its four upturnings with the plough, twice felt the 
sun and twice the cold." — Aiitlioti. 

* Tmolus, a mountain of Lydia, in Asia Alinoi-, abounding in vines, 
saffron, &c. Saba:ans, the inhabitants of Saba, a town of Arabia, 
famous for frankincense, myrrh, and aromatic plants. Chalybes, a 
people of Pontus, in Asia Minor ; their country abounded in iron 
mines. Smiths as they were, they partially stripped to their work. 

58 GEORGICS. [Book I. 

the lightly-clad Chalybes give us steel, Pontus strong- 
scented castor, and Epirus^ the prime of Elian mares? Such 
restrictions and unchanging natural laws were imposed on 
individual places, from the very time that Deucalion first 
cast stones into the unpeopled world, whence sprang men, a 
hardy race. Come then, let your sturdy bullocks forthwith 
turn up the rich soil, in the very earliest months of the year; 
and let the dusty summer with its strongest suns bake the 
clods as they lie exposed. But if the land be not rich, it 
will be enough to plough it lightly, rather before the rising 
of Arcturus :'- in the former case, lest weeds obstruct the 
healthy corn ; in the latter, lest the scanty moisture forsake 
the unproductive soil. 

You will likewise suffer your tilled lands after reaping to 
lie fallow every other year, and the exhausted fields to consoli- 
date by rest ; or, changing the season, you will sow yellow 
corn on that ground from which you have previously gathered 
the luxuriant pulse with rattling pods, or the seeds of the tiny 
vetch, and the brittle stalks and rustling forest of the bitter 
lupine. For a crop of flax exhausts^ the land : oats 
exhaust it, and poppies imbued with the sleep of Lethe.* 
But still the strain on the soil will be an easy one by 
alternating the crops, provided only that you are not chary 

^ Epirus (Albania), a country of Greece, famous for its fine breed 
of horses. 

^ Arcturus, a star whose rising, and wliose setting also, was sup- 
posed to bring great tempests. In the time of Virgil, it rose about the 
middle of September. The light ploughing refers to that particular 
kind of ploughing in which the farmer cuts only alternate furrows, 
throwing the loose earth of each furrow on the contiguous strip of 
unploughed land, which would be of equal breadth with the furrow. 
It was a sort of "top-dressing." 

•* Exhausts, i.e. dries up the moisture. Virgil does not forbid the 
sowing of flax and poppies, but explains that, from their exhausting 
nature, they are bad crops in rotation after wheat. 

"• Lethe was one of the rivers of hell, whose waters had the power 
of causing forgetfulness. 

L. 5S-107] GEORGICS. 59 

in saturating the parched earth with rich manure, or in 
scattering unsightly ashes upon the exhausted fields : thus, 
too, your land is refreshed by changing the crops, and in the 
meantime there is not the unproductiveness of untilled land. 

Often, too, it has been found of use to set fire to poor 
lands, and to burn the light stubble in the crackling 
flames : whether it be that by this process the mould receives 
some subtle powers and rich nutriment ; or that every 
noxious quality is extracted by the fire and the baneful 
moisture exudes ; or that the heat opens more channels 
and undetected pores through which the sap may reach the 
young plants ; or that it rather hardens the soil and binds 
closer the gaping veins, so that the penetrating showers may 
not harm it, or the too strong heat of the scorching sun 
smite it, or the piercing cold of Boreas blast it. 

He, too, greatly benefits the soil who breaks the inactive 
clods with harrows, and drags osier hurdles over them; nor 
does yellow Ceres view him from high Olympus to no 
purpose ; he, too, much assists it who, with his plough 
turned in a cross direction, a second time breaks up the 
ridges which he raises at the first ploughing, and constantly 
works his land and lords it over his fields. 

Pray, ye swains, for moist summers and serene winters. 
From winter's dust the corn is most luxuriant, the land is 
made rich : it is not in excellence of tillage as much as of 
climate that Mysia ^ prides herself, and that Gargarus is 
amazed at her own harvests. 

^Vhat shall I say of him who, after sowing the seed, 
immediately gives the fields no rest, but breaks the clods 
of over-rich soil, and then leads down the stream and 
its attendant channels on the lands which he has sown ? and 
when the parched mould with its dying herbage is scorched, 

^ Mysia, a country of Asia Minor, bordcrintj on Troas. Gargarus, 
a mountain, or rather a part of Mount Ida, in Troas ; also a town at 
the base of it, surrounded by rich corn lands. 

6o GEORGICS. [Book i. 

lo ! he conducts a water-course from the brow of some slop- 
ing tract : It, as it tumbles over the smooth rocks, wakes 
up a hoarse murmur, and cools the thirsty fields with its 
bubbling rills. 

What of him who, to prevent the stalks from lodging 
by reason of heavy ears, eats down the rank growth 
while still in the tender blade, when the crops render the 
furrows level (with the top of the ridge) ? and of him who 
draws off from the spongy mould the collected moisture of 
the marshy pools, especially if in the changeable months (of 
spring) the brimming river overflows, and covers all around 
with encrusted mud, from which the hollow channels reek 
with warm moisture ? 

And yet, after the labours of men and oxen have tried 
these expedients in cultivating the ground, the insatiable 
goose, the Strymonian^ cranes, and succory with its bitter 
roots greatly mar their efforts, and even the shades are hurtful. 
Father Jove himself willed that the modes of tillage should 
not be easy, and first stirred the earth by artificial means, 
whetting the minds of men by anxieties ; nor suffered he 
his subjects to become inactive through oppressive lethargy. 
Before Jove, no husbandmen subdued the fields ; nor was it 
even lawful to mark out ground, or by limits to divide the 
plain; men acquired all for the common good, and earth 
of herself produced everything very freely without compul- 
sion. Jupiter it was who infused the fatal poison into the 
horrid serpent; he commanded the wolves to prowl, and 
the sea to rage ; he shook the honey from the leaves, he 
secreted fire, and restrained the wine that ran everywhere in 
rivulets; in order that man's needs, by dint of thought, might 
gradually hammer out the various arts, might seek the blade 
of corn by ploughing, and might strike forth the fire thrust 
away in the veins of the flint. Then first the rivers felt the 

1 Strymon, a river of Macedonia, tlie ancient boundary between that 
country and Thrace. 

L. 108-160] GEORGICS. 61 

hollowed alders ; then the sailor grouped the stars into con- 
stellations and gave them names, the Pleiades,^ Hyades, and 
the bright bear of Lycaon. Then were invented the arts of 
catching wild animals in toils, of deceiving them with bird- 
lime, and of encompassing the spacious glades with hounds. 
And now one lashes the broad river with his casting-net, aim- 
ing at the deep parts, and in the sea itself another hauls his 
dripping lines. Then was formed the rigid steel, and blade of 
grating saw — for primeval man cleft the fissile wood with 
wedges. Then various arts followed. Unwearying labour 
overcame every difficulty, and want spurring men on in times 
of hardship. Ceres first taught rustics to till the ground with 
implements of iron, since by this time the acorns and the 
arbutes of the sacred woods were beginning to fail, and 
Dodona - to refuse sustenance. Soon, too, was damage in- 
flicted on the corn ; so that noxious mildew'^ might eat the 
stalks, and the unproductive thistle bristle in the fields. The 
crops of corn die; a prickly forest of burrs and caltrops rises 
instead, and amidst the trim and healthy grain, wretched 
darnel and barren wild oats assert their sway. But unless 
you persecute the weeds by continual harrowing, and frighten 
away the birds by noises, and with the pruning knife keep 
down the foliage which shades the ground, and by prayers in- 
voke the showers, alas, in vain will you view another's ample 
store, and solace your hunger with acorns in tlie woods. 
We must also describe what are the implements used by 

1 Pleiades, a name given to the seven daugliters of Atlas and Pleione. 
who were made a constellation in the heavens. Ilyades, the five 
daughters of Atlas, who were also changed into stars, and placed in 
the constellation Taurus. Bear of Lycaon : Calisto, the daughter of 
Lycaon, was changed by Juno into a bear, but Jupiter made her the 
constellation Ursa I^Iajor. 

2 Dodona, an ancient city of Epirus, in Greece, where was a sacred 
grove, with a celebrated oracle and temple of Jupiter. 

3 This suggests that the mildew and the thistle were ordered by 
Jupiter to injure the corn. 

62 GEORGICS. [Book i. 

the hardy swains, without which the crops could neither 
be sown nor could they spring. These are the share and, 
first and foremost, the strong and crooked plough, and the 
slow-rolling wains of mother Ceres of Eleusis, and sledges 
and drags, and hoe-rakes of unwieldy weight ; besides the 
cheap osier fittings of Celeus,^ arbute hurdles, and the mystic 
fan of Bacchus ; all which, with mindful care, you will provide 
long before-hand, if you are destined to gain the full honours 
of the divine country. At its early growth in the woods, 
an elm bent with great effort is shaped into a curve, and 
assumes the form of the crooked plough. From the lower 
end of this, the pole projects to the length of eight feet, 
two mould-boards are fitted on, and a share beam with a 
double ridge. The light linden also is hewn beforehand for 
the yoke, and the tall beech is felled and a handle ^ cut, to 
turn the bottom of the machine behind ; and the smoke 
seasons ^ the timber hung up in the chimneys. 

I can repeat to you many precepts of the ancients, unless 
you object, and think it not worth while to learn these 
trifling cares. Among your first preparations a threshing- 
floor must be levelled with a huge roller, and worked with 
the hand,4 and consolidated with binding chalk, that weeds 
may not spring up, and that it may not give way and 
crumble into dust. Then various pests may baffle you: 
often the diminutive mouse has been found to make its 
nest and its granaries beneath the ground ; or the purblind 
moles have dug their lodges ; and in the cavities has the toad 

^ Celeus, a king of Eleusis, was the father of Triptolemus, whom 
Ceres instructed in husbandry. See line 19 of this Book. 

2 Stivaque. Martyn reads .Stivre "for a handle," which makes 
excellent sense, but it has no MS. authority. There is something 
wrong in the text it would seem, unless Cctditur is applied both to 

fagus and to stiva, as translated above. 

3 Literally, "explores," "searches," i.e. to see if there be any 

•* Worked with the hand, to knead the earth and chalk together. 

L. 161-210] GEORGICS. 6^ 

been found, and other ugly creatures which the earth pro- 
duces in great numbers ; the weevil too plunders vast heaps 
of corn, and the ant, provident against helpless age. 

Observe also when the almond tree shall array itself in 
the woods in a plentiful show of blossom, and bend its 
fragrant branches : if the embryo fruit abound, in like 
quantity the corn will follow, and a great threshing will 
ensue with great heat ; but if, by reason of the large dis- 
play of leaves, the shade is excessive, the floor shall to no 
purpose bruise the ears, rich only in chaff. 

I have indeed seen many when sowing artificially prepare 
their seeds, and steep them first in soda and black lees of olive 
oil, that the produce might be larger in the usually deceptive 
pods: and that they might be sodden, to hasten their growth, 
on a fire, however small. I have seen those seeds on whose 
selection much time and labour had been spent, nevertheless 
degenerating if men did not every year rigorously separate 
with the hand all the largest specimens. So it is : all things 
are fated to deteriorate, and, losing their ground, to be borne 
backwards ; just as in the case with him who is with diffi- 
culty forcing boat against the stream by rowing, and the 
current hurries it down the river in headlong speed if he 
happens to have slackened his exertions.^ 

Further, the constellation of Arcturus, and the days of 
the Kids, and the shining Dragon, must be as carefully 
observed by us as by those who, returning homeward over 
the stormy ocean, brave the Euxine Sea, and the straits of 
oyster-breeding Abydos.^ 

When Libra has made the hours of day and of night the 
same in length, and is about to divide the globe equally for 

^ See Bryce's Vh-gil, note on line 203. 

^ Abydos, a city of Asia Minor, on the Hellespont (Dardanelles), 
opposite to Sestos, in Thrace ; famous for the bridge of ])oats whicli 
Xerxes made tliere across the Hellespont when he invaded Greece ; 
also for the loves of Hero and Leander. 

64 GEORGICS. [Book i. 

light and darkness, work hard your steers, my lads; sow 
barley in the fields, even close upon the last shower of the 
inclement winter. Then, too, is time to sow your flax seed, 
and the poppy sacred to Ceres, and even already to bend 
over your plough, provided you can do so on a dry soil, 
and while the clouds still overhang. 

The sowing time for beans is spring ; then too. Medic 
clover,^ the pulverised furrows receive you, and millet 
comes, an annual care, when the bright Bull with gilded 
horns opens the year, and the Dog sets, giving way to the 
receding star. But if you shall till your ground for a wheat 
crop and sturdy spelt, and are bent on bearded grain alone, 
let the Pleiades be set in the morning, and let the Gnosian 
constellation - of Ariadne's blazing Crown depart from the 
heavens before you commit to the furrows the seed designed 
for them, and before you hasten to entrust the hopes of the 
year to the earth, not yet anxious for the charge. Many are 
wont to begin before the setting of Maia, but the looked 
for crop has usually mocked them with unyieldy ears. But 
if you are to sow vetches and common kidney beans, and 
do not scorn the trouble of the Egyptian lentil, setting 
Bootes will afford you no uncertain signs. Begin, and 
extend your sowing fairly into the frosts. 

For this very purpose it is that the golden sun, by means 
of the twelve signs of the zodiac, regulates the yearly circle 
of the heavenly sphere, measured off in fixed allotments. 
Five zones occupy the heavens ; whereof one is ever 
glowing with the bright sun, and is scorched for ever by his 
fire; outside of which, to the extreme right and left, two 
azure ones extend, congealed with ice and freezing showers. 

1 A species of trefoil, so called because introduced from Media into 

^ Ariadne's Crown, consisting of seven stars, named so from Gnosus 
(or Gnossus), a city of Crete, where Minos, the father of Ariadne, 
reigned. Maia, one of the Pleiades. Bootes, a constellation near the 
Ursa Major, or Great Bear. 

L. 211-260] GEORGICS. 65 

Between these and the middle zone, two by the bounty of the 
gods have been given to weary mortals ; and a path has been 
cut between the two, in which the Signs in their order might 
glide obliquely. As the heavenly sphere rises high towards 
Scythia and the Rhipsean ^ hills, so it slopes and sinks 
towards the south of Libya. In regard to us, the one pole 
is always elevated ; but the other, cloudy Styx '^ and the 
ghosts below see far beneath them. Here (in northern 
regions) the huge Scorpion glides with tortuous windings, 
like a river, around and between the two Bears, — the Bears 
that refuse to dip in the ocean. There, as they say, there 
is either the everlasting silence of a night that knows not 
seasons, and the darkness is made denser by an encircling 
gloom ; or else Aurora ^ returns thither from us, and brings 
them back the day : and when the rising sun first breathes 
on us with panting steeds, there bright Vesper lights up his 
evening fires. 

Hence we are able to foreknow the seasons in the 
dubious sky ; hence the time of harvest, and the time of 
sowing ; and when it is safe to sweep the treacherous sea 
with oars, when to launch the duly equipped fleets, or to 
fell the pine in the woods in right season. Nor in vain do 
we study the settings and the risings of the constellations, 
and the year equally divided into four different periods. 

Whenever the chilling shower confines the husbandman, 
then he has an opportunity of doing in good time many 

' RhipLvan hills, in the north of Scythia, near the rivers Tanais anil 

- Styx, one of the rivers of hell, round \vhich it was said to flow nine 

* Aurora, the goddess of the morning. Vesper, the evening star ; 
often used for the evening, as Aurora is for the morning. Vesper lights 
up his late rays ; or, lights up the illumination of night ; i.e., the 
other stars, either by setting them an example, or as some of the 
ancients thought, by his light being thrown on them and thence reflected, 
as the moon is said to "rise dependent on her brother's rays." 


66 GEORGICS. [Book i. 

things which afterwards, in fine weather, would require to 
be done hastily. The ploughman sharpens the hard 
point of the blunted share, he scoops wooden vessels from 
trees, or stamps his mark on the sheep, or labels his 
corn-bins. Others point stakes and two-pronged props, 
and prepare Amerine willow-bands ^ for the limber vine. 
Now let the yielding basket be made of bramble twigs, 
now kiln-dry the grain and grind it in the mill ; for even 
on holy days, divine and human laws permit us to engage 
in certain works. No rule of religion has forbidden us to 
water the crops, to raise a fence before the corn, to lay 
snares for birds, to fire the thorns, and plunge a flock of 
bleating sheep in the river for health. Often the driver of 
the sluggish ass loads him with oil or common apples ; and, 
in his return from the town, brings back an indented mill- 
stone, or a mass of black pitch. 

The moon herself fixes days favourable in different 
degrees for different kinds of work. Shun the fifth : on it 
pale Pluto and the Furies were born. On it, at an unholy 
birth, the earth brought forth Coeus,^ lapetus, and savage 
Typhoeus, and the brothers who conspired to tear heaven 
down, forsooth. For thrice did they attempt to pile Ossa^ 
upon Pelion, and to roll woody Olympus upon Ossa : thrice 
Father Jove, with his thunder, dashed down the massed 
mountains. The seventeenth is lucky* both to plant the 

1 Amerine bands, from Ameria, a city of Umbria, in Italy, which 
abounded in osiers. 

2 Cceus, Tapetus, &c. , famous giants, sons of Coelus and Terra, who, 
according to the poets, made war against the gods ; but Jupiter at last 
put them to flight with his thunderbolts, and crushed them under 
Mount .(Etna, in Sicily. 

^ Ossa, Pelion, &c., celebrated mountains of Thessaly, in Greece, 
which the giants, in their war against the gods, were feigned to have 
heaped an each other, that they might with more facility scale the 
walls of heaven. 

* The seventeenth: some interpreters think this means, "next to the 
tenth, the seventh is a lucky day." 

L. 261-31 1] GEORGICS. ^y 

vine, and to catch and tame the oxen, and to add the woof 
to the warp : the ninth is better for flight, adverse to thefts.^ 
Many works, too, are wont to succeed better in the cool 
night, or when morning floods the earth with the early sun. 
By night the light stubble, by night the parched meadows 
are better shorn : the clammy moisture fails not by night. 
Many a one watches all night by the light of the winter's 
late fire, and points torches with the sharp knife. Mean- 
while, his spouse, beguiling by song her tedious labour, 
runs over her web with the shrill comb ; or boils down, 
over a strong fire, the liquor of the sweet must, and 
skims with leaves the bubbling foam of the quivering 

But reddening Ceres is cut down in summer ; and in 
summer heat the floor thrashes out the parched grain. 
Plough lightly clad,^ sow lightly clad. Winter is a time of 
leisure for the hind ; in the cold weather the farmers usually 
enjoy the fruit of their labour, and delight to engage in mutual 
entertainments : the winter, sacred to their genius,^ invites 
them, and relaxes their cares ; just as when heavily-laden 
ships have reached the port, and the joyous mariners, as is 
their wont, place garlands on the sterns. But, nevertheless, 
then is the time to strip the acorns from the oak, and the 
bay-berries, and the olive, and the myrtle-berries with blood- 
red juice ; then to set springes for cranes, and nets for stags, 
and to pursue the long-eared hares ; and to slay the fallow 
deer, wliirling the hempen thongs of the Balearic sling,'* 

■* The moon would Ije favourable for the flight of runaway slaves, 
but unfavourable for the thief. 

" i.e., plough in autumn, before warm clothes are needed. 

•* Every man had his guardian spirit or genius, which was thought 
to delight in social pleasure, for which winter, and especially December, 
was most suitable. From the idea of a genius or guardian " daemon " 
we get the Scotch phrase, " He aye does what his ain deil bids him." 

■* Balearic sling. The inhabitants of the Balearic isles were noted 
for their skill as slingers. 

68 GEORGICS. [book i. 

when the snow Ues deep, when the rivers drive down the 

Why should I speak of the weather and the constellations 
of autumn, and what must be carefully looked after by 
swains when the day is now shorter, and the summer less 
oppressive ? or when the showery spring hastens to its con- 
clusion, when the bearded harvest bristles in the fields, and 
the corn, full of milky juice, swells to bursting in the green 
stalk ? Often, when the farmer was just bringing the reaper 
into the yellow fields, and was now grasping the barley with 
its brittle straw, have I seen all the winds rush together 
in fierce conflict, and these, in all directions, tore up the 
heavy crop from the very root and whirled it on high : just 
so would the wintry storm, with its scowling whirlwind, 
carry away both the light straw and the flying stubble. 
Often also an immense column of water gathers in the sky, 
and vapours collected from the deep,^ mass together dread 
storm-clouds, with their freezing showers, high heaven 
itself pours down, and with its awful rain sweeps away the 
rich crops and the toils of the steers : the ditches are filled, 
and the hollow channels swell with a roaring noise, and 
the sea boils in its seething firths. In the midst of that 
night of storm. Father Jove himself hurls his thunderbolts 
with his flaming right hand : by which impulse the vast earth 
quakes to her very centre ; the wild beasts instantaneously 
take to flight, and abject fear at once quails the hearts of 
men throughout the nations. He with his flaming bolts 
strikes down or Athos,^ or Rhodope, or high Ceraunia : 
the south winds redouble in force, and the rain descends 

^ From the deep, i.e. the Tyrrhenian sea. Others say, from high 
heaven. The former would be more correct meteorologically ; besides, 
Cxlo has been already mentioned. 

^ Athos, a lofty mountain of Macedonia, on a peninsula : it is now 
called Monte Santo. Ceraunia, large mountains of Epirus, stretching 
out far into the Adriatic. 

L. 312-360] GEORGICS. 69 

in torrents ; now woods, now shores moan under the 
dread tornado. 

Fearing such a storm, observe the heavenly months and 
the constellations : which way the cold star of Saturn 
betakes himself, into what circuits of the sky ISIercury's 
fiery planet wanders. Above all, venerate the gods ; and 
renew to great Ceres the sacred annual rites,^ offering up 
your sacrifice upon the joyous turf, as you approach the 
last days of winter, when the spring is serene. Then the 
lambs are fat for you, and then the wines most mellow ; 
then slumbers on the hills are sv/eet, and thick the shades. 
For you, let all the rural youths adore Ceres ; in honour of 
whom, mix the honey-comb with milk and mild wine ; and 
thrice let the propitiating victim circle round the spring- 
ing crops : and let the whole troop of your companions 
accompany it with joyous step, and with shoutings loud invite 
Ceres to their homes ; nor let any one put the sickle to the 
ripe corn till, in honour of Ceres, having his temples bound 
with wreathed oak, he dance in artless measure, and 
sing hymns. 

And that we might learn the following things by certain 
indications, both heats and rains, and cold-bringing winds, 
Father Jove himself has ordained what the moon in her 
monthly course should betoken ; under what star the south 
winds should fall ; at the sight of what frequently recurring 
sign the husbandman should learn to keep his herds 
nearer their stalls. 

Straightway, when wind is on the point of rising, either 
the waters of the sea begin to be agitated into a swell, or a 
dry crackling noise to be heard on the lofty mountains, or the 
shores re-echoing in the far distance to be disturbed, and 
the moaning of the woods to wax louder. Now the billows 
with difficulty withhold themselves from the crooked ships, 

' The poet here alludes to the Ambarvalia, a festival in honour of 

•JO GEORGICS. [Book i. 

when the cormorants fly swiftly back from the midst of the 
sea, and send their screams to the shore ; and when the 
sea-coots sport on the dry beach ; and the heron forsakes 
the well-known fens, and soars above the lofty cloud. 
Often too, when wind threatens, you will see the stars 
shoot precipitate from the sky, and behind them long trails 
of light leave a clear track through the shades of night ; 
often you will see the light chaff and falling leaves flutter 
as they float about ; or feathers to frolic together on the 
surface of the water. 

But when lightning flashes from the quarter of grim 
Boreas, and when the homes of Eurus and of Zephyrus 
thunder, the whole country swims with brimming ditches, 
and every mariner on the sea furls his damp sails. Showers 
never come on any unforewarned : either the high flying 
cranes are wont to shun it in the deep valleys as it rises, or 
the heifer, looking up to heaven, to sniff it in the air with 
wide nostrils ; or the twittering swallow to flutter about the 
lakes ; and the frogs to croak their old complaint in the mud. 
Very often, too, the ant, wearing smooth her narrow path, 
conveys her eggs from her inmost cell ; and the huge rain- 
bow drinks deep ; and flocks of crows returning from their 
feeding-ground in long procession, make a whizzing noise 
with close-pent wings. Now you may observe the various 
sea-fowls, and even those that search the Asian meads, all 
round Cayster's^ pleasant pools, keenly lave the copious 
dew-drops on their shoulders ; now offer their heads to the 
currents, now run into the streams, and needlessly delight 
in their fondness for bathing. Then the provoking crow 
with hoarse voice calls for rain, and, — 

Saucy, stalks in solitary state upon the sapless sand.^ 

^ Cayster, a river of Asia Minor, which falls into the iEgean Sea 
near Epheeus. 

2 Observe the frequent repetition of the letter s in this line as in 

the Latin — 

Et sola in sicca secum spatiatur arena. 

L. 361-414] GEORGICS. 71 

Nor were the maidens, carding their woollen tasks even 
by night, ignorant of the approaching storm ; since they 
would see the oil sputter on the heated lamp, and powdery 
fungus form in clusters. 

And with no less certainty will you be able after rain 
to look for fair weather with serene and cloudless skies, and 
to forecast it by unerring signs ; for then neither are the 
stars seen with blunted edge, nor does the moon appear to 
rise as if dependent on her brother's rays ; nor do thin 
fleecy clouds float across the sky ; nor do the halcyons, 
beloved by Thetis, ^ expand their wings upon the shore to 
the warm sun ; nor do the filthy swine think of tearing the 
wisps of straw and tossing them with their snouts. But the 
mists now rather seek the lower grounds, and brood upon 
the plain ; and the owl watching for the setting of the sun, 
from the highest roof uselessly prolongs her late hootings. 
Nisus appears aloft in the clear sky, and Scylla pays the 
penalty for the purple lock ; wherever she in flight cuts 
the light air with her wings, lo, Nisus,^ hostile, implacable, 
with loud screams pursues her through the air : where 
Nisus mounts heavenward, she swiftly flying cuts the light 
ether with her wings. Then the ravens, with compressed 
throat, three or four times repeat their soft notes, and often 
in their high-perched nests, delighted by some unwonted 
pleasure or other, they flutter and caw in noisy concert 
among the leaves ; now that the rains are over, they delight 

^ Thetis, one of the sea-deities, daughter of Nereus and Doris, and 
mother of Achilles. 

- Scylla, daughter of Nisus, king of Megara, fell in love with Minos, 
who was besieging the city, and cut off the lock of her father's hair on 
which his life depended. The town was then taken by the Cretans ; 
but Minos, disgusted with Scylla's unnatural treachery, tied her by her 
feet to the stern of his vessel, and thus dragged her along till she was 
drowned. Nisus was changed after death into an eagle, and Scylla 
into a fish, or bird called Ciris. The story is that the father continually 
pursues the daughter, to punish her for her crime. 

72 GEORGICS. [Book i. 

to revisit their tiny offspring and their beloved nests. Not, 
I believe, because an intelligent principle is given them 
by the kindness of the deity, or that, according to the 
disposals of fate, they are possessed of a more than common 
knowledge of (future) events ; but when the season and 
heaven's fluctuating vapours have changed their courses, 
and the air, saturated with moisture by the south winds, 
condenses what was recently rare, and rarefies what was 
dense, the character of their minds is changed, and their 
bosoms now conceive widely different emotions from 
those which they felt while the wind was driving away the 
clouds. Hence arises that remarkable concert of birds in 
the fields, and the delight of the cattle, and the exulting 
croak of the rook. 

But if you give attention to the rapid sun and the moon 
from day to day, the weather of the morrow will never 
cheat you, nor shall you be misled by the deceitful appear- 
ance of a serene night. When first the moon calls back 
her returning rays, if she incloses dark air in her dimmed 
crescent, a vast rain-storm is preparing for farmers and for 
sailors ; but if she spreads a virgin blush over her face, 
wind will ensue : golden Phoebe always reddens on the 
approach of wind. If at her fourth rising, however — for that 
is the most unerring indicator — she rides through the sky in 
pure splendour and with unblunted horns, both that whole 
day, and all those that shall come after it till the end of the 
month, will be free from rain and wind : and mariners, 
having come safe to land, will pay their vows upon the 
shore to Glaucus,^ and Panopea, and Melicertes, Ino's 

^ Glaucus, a fisherman of Anthedon, in Boeotia, son of Neptune 
and Nais, was changed into a sea-deity. Panopea, a sea-nymph, one 
of the Nereids. Melicertes, the son of Athamas and Ino, was changed 
into a sea-god, and was known also by the names of Palsemon and 

L. 415-467] GEORGICS. 73 

The sun too, both at his rising and at his setting in the 
waves, will give signs ; the surest signs attend the sun, 
both those which he shows in the morning, and those which 
he presents when the stars arise. When he has flecked his 
first dawn with spots, hidden in a cloud, and has retired 
from view in the centre of his disc, you may then suspect 
showers : for the south wind, pernicious to trees and crops 
and flocks, is at hand from on high.i Or when, at the ap- 
proach of dawn, the rays shall burst forth in different directions 
among the thick clouds ; or when Aurora rises pale, leaving 
the saffron couch of Tithonus ;- ah, the vine-leaf will then 
but ill defend the mellow grapes ; so thick the dreaded hail 
bounds pattering on the roofs. This, too, it will be more 
advantageous to remember, when, having traversed the 
heavens, he is just setting — for often we see various colours 
flitting over his face, — the azure threatens rain ; the reddish, 
wind. But if the spots begin to be blended with fiery red, 
then you will see all things in commotion, alike with wind 
and storms of rain. Let no one advise me on that night to 
cross the deep, or to loose the cable from the land. But if 
his orb is lucid, both wlien he ushers in and when he 
closes the renewed day, in vain will you be alarmed by the 
clouds, and you will see the woods shaken by the serenizing 
north wind. 

In fine, the sun will give you signs what weather late 
Vesper may bring, from what quarter the wind may drive 
the dry clouds, what the wet South may be intending. Who 
would dare to call the sun a deceiver ? He often gives tokens 
that even concealed uprisings are at hand, and that treason 
and secret wars are swelling to a head. He also showed his 
pity for Rome at Caesar's death, when he shrouded his bright 

1 Or from Ihc deep, as in line 234. 

'^ Tithonus, a son of Laomeclon, king of Troy, was so beautiful that 
Aurora became enamoured of him, and carried him away to 

74 GEORGICS. [Book i. 

head with a lurid darkness/ and impious mortals feared 
eternal night ; though at that time the earth too, and waters 
of the deep, foul dogs, and ill-omened birds, gave warnings. 
How often have we seen ^tna inundating the lands of the 
Cyclopes- with the boiling liquid from its bursting vaults, 
and rolling its lava-stream of fiery balls and molten rocks ! 
Germany heard the clash of arms over all the sky; the 
Alps trembled with unwonted earthquakes. A voice, too, 
was heard by many in the silent groves — an awful one ; and 
spectres strangely pale were seen under cloud of night ; and 
the very cattle, O dire to tell ! spoke ; rivers stop their 
courses, the earth yawns wide ; the ivory in its grief weeps 
in the temples, and the brazen statues sweat. Eridanus,^ 
king of rivers, swept whole woods away, whirling them in his 
mad eddies, and carried the herds with their stalls over all 
the plains. And, at the same time, neither did veins fail to 
appear threatening in the baleful entrails, nor blood to flow 
from the wells, and cities to resound aloud with wolves 
howling the livelong night. At no other time did more 
lightning fall from a cloudless sky, or did direful meteors so 
often blaze. Therefore it was that Philippi* saw Roman 
armies meet a second time in the shock of battle, in armour 
quite the same ; nor did it seem too cruel, in the eyes of the 

^ According to Plutarch (Vit. Ca:s. c. 90), Pliny (H. N. ii. 3c), and 
Dio Cassius (xiv. 17), the sun appeared of a dim and pallid hue after 
the assassination of Julius Ciusar, and continued so during the whole of 
the year. It is said, too, that for want of the sun's heat the fruits 
rotted without coming to maturity. An eclipse of the sun actually 
occurred in November. 

^ Cyclopes, a gigantic race of men, sons of Coelus and Terra : they 
were Vulcan's workmen in fabricating the thunderbolts of Jupiter, and 
were represented as having only one eye, and that in the middle of their 
forehead. ^ The Po. 

^ Philippi, a city of Macedonia, on the confines of Thrace, famous 
for the defeat of Brutus and Cassius by Antony and Augustus, B.C. 42. 
The first collision of civil war here referred to was that at Pharsalia in 
Thessaly, between Pompey and Csesar. The second is that at Philippi. 

L. 468-514] GEORGICS. 75 

gods, that Emathia^ and the extensive plains of Hsemus 
should twice be enriched by our blood. And, no doubt, the 
time will come when in those regions the husbandman, on 
turning up the soil with the crooked plough, shall find 
javelins all eaten with scurfy rust, or with his heavy rake 
shall clash on helmets now untenanted, and marvel at the 
great bones in the upturned graves. 

Ye guardian deities of my country, ye Indigetes,- and you 
O Romulus, and you Mother Vesta, who guard the Tuscan 
Tiber and the palaces of Rome, forbid not that this youth 
at least should come to the help of this lost and ruined age. 
Long since have we with our blood atoned for the per- 
juries of Laomedon ^ of Troy. Long since, O Caesar, the 
courts of heaven grudge you to us, and complain that you 
are concerned about the triumphs of mortal men ; since 
they are persons among whom the distinctions of right and 
wrong are inverted; since there are so many wars, throughout 
the world, since so many forms of crime exist; since the plough 
has none of its due honours ; since the fields lie waste, their 
owners being drawn for service ; and since the crooked 
scythes are forged into rigid swords. Here Euphrates, 
there Germany, raises war; neighbouring cities, having 
broken their mutual leagues, take arms ; relentless Mars 
rages over all the globe; just as the four-horse chariots, when 
they have dashed forth from the barriers with speed, increase 
that speed throughout the several rounds (s/afi'a), and the 
charioteer, straining the bridle in vain, is hurried away by 
the steeds, nor does the team obey the reins. 

' Emathia, an ancient name of Macedonia and Thessaly. Hoemus, 
an extensive chain of mountains running through Tlirace, now Balkan. 

- Indigetes, a name given to those deities who were worshipped in 
particular places, or to such heroes as were deified. 

^ Laomedon, king of Troy, and father of Priam. He built the 
walls of Troy, with the assistance of Apollo and Neptune ; but, on the 
work being finished, he refused to reward them for their labours, and 
in consequence incurred the displeasure of the gods. 

76 GEORGICS. [Book ii. 


Virgil having in the First Book treated of tillage, proceeds in the Second 
to the subject of Planting : he describes the varieties of trees, with the 
best methods of raising them ; gives rules for the management of the vine 
and the olive, and for judging of the nature of soils ; and, in a strain of 
exalted poetry, celebrates the praises of Italy, and the pleasures of a 
country life. 

Thus far I have treated of the culture of fields, and of 
the constellations of the heavens ; now, Bacchus, will I sing 
of you, and with you of woodland shrubs, and of the off- 
spring of the slow-growing olive. Hither, O father^ Lenreus, 
come, here all is full of your bounties : by your gift the field, 
laden with the viny harvest, flourishes ; by your gift the 
vintage foams in the full vats : hither, O father Lenaeus, 
come ; and, having stripped off your buskins, stain your un- 
covered limbs along with me in new wine. 

First, there are various modes of producing trees : for 
some, without any means applied by men, come freely of 
their own accord, and widely overspread the plains and 
winding rivers ; as the soft osier and tough broom, the 
poplar and the hoary willow with leaves of bluish green. 
But some arise from fallen seed, as the lofty chestnuts, and 
the mountain-oak, which, greatest of forest trees, flourishes 
in honour of Jove, and the oaks reputed oracular by the 
Greeks. In the case of others a very dense growth of shoots 
springs from the roots, as in the cherries and the elms : 
thus, too, the bay of Parnassus when small, shoots up under 

^ The term *' pater " is here applied to Bacchus, not with any refer- 
ence to advanced years, but merely as indicative of his being the giver 
of increase to fruits and crops, and the beneficent author of so many 
good gifts unto men. Lenceus, a surname of Bacchus, from Arivht, a 
winepress. The poet invites Bacchus to assist him in treading out the 

L, 1-46] GEORGICS. T] 

the plentiful shade of its parent tree. Nature at first 
ordained these means : by these every species blooms— of 
woods, and shrubs, and sacred groves. Others there are 
which experience has found out for itself in the progress of 
cultivation.! One, tearing off suckers from the easily 
lacerated stem of their mother, sets them in furrows ; another 
buries the stocks in the ground, and stakes split in four, 
and poles with sharpened point ; and other trees of the 
forest expect the arch of a depressed layer, and living - 
shoots in their own soil. Others have no need of any root ; 
and the gardener makes no scruple to take down the top- 
most shoot and plant it in the earth. Even after the 
trunk is cut in pieces, an olive-root sprouts from the 
dry wood, wonderful to tell. Often we see the boughs 
of one tree transformed, with no detriment, into those of 
another; and a pear-tree, altered in its nature, bearing in- 
grafted apples, and stony cornels growing upon plum stocks.^ 

Wherefore come on, O husbandmen, learn the mode of 
treatment peculiar to each kind, and improve wild fruits 
by cultivation : nor let your lands lie idle : ■* it is a delight to 
plant Ismarus with vines, and clothe vast Taburnus^ with 

And do you be present, and pursue with me the course 
I have entered on, O my pride, O Maecenas, deservedly the 
greatest part of my reputation, and at full speed spread your 
sails on the sea opening out to us. I cannot indeed 
expect that all the sul)ject can be embraced in my poem : 
no, not if I had a hundred tongues, and a hundred mouths, 
and a voice of iron : come with me and cruise along the 
coast ; the land is near at hand ; I will not here detain 

1 " Via " here means "by the way," as it went along. 

- Living shoots, i.e., shoots not separated from the parent tree. 

2 Or, as some would translate, stony cornels changing into plums. 
•* That is, let not even your inferior land lie unoccupied. 

* Taburnus, a mountain of Campania, which abounded with olives. 

78 GEORGICS. [Book ii. 

you with mythical song, or with circumlocution and tedious 

Those trees which spring up spontaneously into the 
regions of light are certainly unfruitful ; but they rise luxuri- 
ant and strong, for in the soil there is a latent productive 
power. Yet, if any one ingraft even these, or transplant 
and deposit them in trenches well prepared, they will divest 
themselves of their wild character, and by frequent culture 
will not be slow to follow to whatever degree of perfection 
you invite them. And that tree also which sprouts up barren 
from the low roots will do the same^ if it be planted out 
in regular order in open ground: — under present conditions, 
the high shoots and branches of the mother tree overshadow 
it, and hinder it from bearing fruit as it grows, and wither 
up its productive powers. The tree, again, that is raised from 
fallen seed grows slowly, destined to form a shade for late 
posterity, and its fruit deteriorates, losing its former excellence, 
and the grape offers sorry clusters, only for the birds to eat. 
In fact, labour must be bestowed on all, and all must be drilled 
into trenches and brought under control at great outlay of 
labour. But olives answer better when propagated by 
truncheons, vines by layers, the myrtles of the Paphian 
goddess- by growing out of the solid wood. The hard 
hazels, too, grow from suckers, the huge ash and the shady 
poplar-tree, that formed the crown of Hercules,^ and the oaks 
of the Chaonian Sire (Jove) : thus also the lofty palm is pro- 
pagated by suckers, and the fir-tree doomed to face the perils 
of the deep. 

But the rough-barked arbute is penetrated by the young 

^ i.e., will lay aside its wild and unproductive nature. 

2 Venus was so called, from Paphos (Bafifa), a city of Cyprus, where 
she was worshipped. 

■* When Hercules rescued Alcestis from the lower regions and re- 
stored her to her husband, he brought a poplar with him, and had on 
his head a wreath made from its leaves. 

L. 47-92] GEORGICS. 79 

walnut-tree, and fruitless planes are wont to bear stout apple- 
trees. The beech-tree has grown white with the blossom of 
the chestnut, and the ash with that of the pear. Nor is the 
method of ingrafting and inoculating the same. For, where 
the buds thrust themselves forth from the middle of the bark, 
and burst the slender coats, a small slit is made in the very 
knot : in this they inclose a bud from another tree, and teach 
it to unite with the moist rind. Or again, the knotless stocks 
are cut open, and a passage is cloven deep into the solid 
wood with wedges : then scions of fruit-bearing trees are 
inserted ; and in no long time a huge stem has shot heaven- 
ward with prosperous boughs, and wonders at its new 
leaves and fruits not its own. 

Moreover, there is not one species only, either of strong 
elms, or of willows, of the lotus-tree, or of the Idccan 
cypresses ; ^ nor do the rich olives grow in one form, the 
orchades, and the radii, and the pausia with bitter berries ; 
nor the apples, and the orchards of Alcinous ; nor are the 
cuttings the same for the Crustumian and Syrian pears, and 
the heavy volemi. The same vintage hangs not on our 
trees as that which Lesbos gathers from the Methym- 
nean - vine. There are the Thasian vines, and there are 
the white Mareotides ; the latter suited for a rich soil, the 

1 Idcean cypresses, from Mount Ida, in the island of Crete. Orchards 
of Alcinous, king of Phocacia, afterwards called Corcyra (Corfu), one of 
the Ionian islands : his gardens, which were greatly famed, are beauti- 
fully described by Homer. Crustumian and Syrian pears : the first 
were so called from Crustuminum, a town of Etruria, in Italy ; and the 
latter from Syria, a country of Asia, along the eastern shore of the 
Mediterranean. I'hcenicia and Palestine were generally reckoned 
provinces of Syria. 

^ Methymna in Lesbos (Mitylene), celebrated for its excellent wines. 
Thasian vines, those of Thasos, an island near the coast of Thrace. 
Mareotides, a vine from Mareotis, a lake in Egypt, near Alexandria. 
Psithian, from Psithia, an ancient town of Greece, famous for its 
grapes. Rhcetian grape, from Rhcetia (the Tyrol, &c.), a mountainous 
country to the north of Italy. 

8o GEORGICS. [Book ii. 

former for a lighter one : and the Psithian, more serviceable 
for raisin-wine, and the thin (spirituous) Lagean, which by 
and bye will try the feet and bind the tongue : there are 
the purples and the early-ripe : And in what strain shall I 
sing of you, O Rhaetian grape ? but do not on that account 
vie with the Falernian ^ cellars. There are also Aminnean 
vines, with very strong-bodied^ wines; to which even the royal 
grapes of Tmolus and of Phanse do homage ; and the smaller 
Argitis, which none can rival, either in yielding so much 
juice, or in keeping good for so many years. I must not 
pass you over, Rhodian grape, grateful to the gods and 
at second courses, nor you bumastus, with your swollen 
clusters. But we neither can state how many species 
there are, nor what are their names : nor, indeed, is it of 
any consequence to specify the number, for he who would 
wish to know it may also like to count how many grains of 
sand are driven by the west wind over the Libyan desert,^ 
or to learn how many waves of the Ionian Sea reach the 
shore when a storm from the east has come down on the 

And, in truth, every soil cannot produce everything. 
Willows grow beside the rivers, and alders in miry fens ; the 
barren wild ash on the rocky mountains; the shores are most 
favourable for myrtle groves : in fine, Bacchus loves the 
sunny hills ; the yews, the north wind and the cold. 

Behold the world brought into subjection even by the 
husbandmen of its remotest regions, both the eastern habi- 
tations of the Arabians and the tattooed Geloni. Their several 
native countries are allotted to trees. India alone gives black 

^ Falernian, &c. Falernus, a fertile mountain and plain of 
Campania in Italy. Aminnia, a district of Campania. Phana;, a pro- 
montory of the island of Chios (Scio). 

^ Strong-bodied : others say a very during zaiiie, — i.e., that keeps 

^ Libyan desert. It may also mean Libyan Sea, with reference to 
the quicksands there. 

L. 93-141] GEORGICS. 81 

ebony : the frankincense-tree belongs to none but the 
Sabaeans. Why should I mention to you balsams exuding from 
the fragrant wood, and the berries of the evergreen acacia ? 
why should I tell you of the forests of the Ethiopians, white 
with soft wool ? and how the Seres ^ comb the downy fleeces 
from the leaves ? or the groves which India Proper produces 
— remotest corner of the earth — where no arrows by their 
flight have been able to surmount the airy summit of the 
tree? and yet that nation is by no means inexpert in archery. 
Media yields the bitter juices and the lingering flavour of 
the blessed lemon; than which no more efficacious antidote is 
found to expel black venom from the body, whenever heart- 
less step-mothers have drugged the cup, and to noxious herbs 
have added no unharmful spells. The tree itself is gigantic, 
and in form most like a bay ; and it were really a bay if it 
did not widely diffuse a different scent. Its leaves fall not 
ofif by any force of wind ; its blossoms are tenacious in the 
highest degree. With it the Medes sweeten their breath and 
fetid mouths, and apply it as a remedy to their asthmatic 
old men. 

But neither the woods of Media, a most fertile land, nor 
the beautiful Ganges, aye, Hermus ^ too, turbid with gold, 
can match the glories of Italy: not Bactra,^ nor the Indians, 
and all Panchaia abounding in incense-bearing soil. Bulls 
breathing fire from their nostrils never ploughed this land of 
ours for sowing the teeth of a hideous dragon ; nor did a 

* Seres, a nation of Asia, between the Ganges and Eastern Ocean ; 
the modern Tibet, or probably China. " India nearer the ocean," i.e. 
India Proper, Hindustan. He probably means the jungles of the 
Malabar coast. 

- Ilcrnius, a river of Lydia, whose sands were mingled with gold : 
it receives the waters of the Pactolus near Sardis, and falls into the 
^gean, north-west of Smyrna. 

^ Bactra (Balkh), the capital of Bactria, a country of Asia. 
Panchaia a district of Arabia Felix, which produced myrrh, frank- 
incense, &c. 


82 GEORGICS. [Book ii. 

crop of men start up bristling with dense array of helmet and 
of spear; but teeming crops and Massic^ produce of the vine 
are wont to fill it, and olives too, and herds of fatted cattle 
to possess its fields. From it the warrior-horse with head 
erect advances to the fight ; from it, Clitumnus,^ your white 
flocks, and bulls, chiefest of victims, which had oft been 
plunged in your sacred stream, lead the Roman triumphs to 
the temples of the gods. Here is perpetual spring, and 
summer in unwonted months : twice a year the cattle give 
increase, twice are the trees productive in fruit. Aye, 
moreover, the ravenous tigresses are wanting, and the savage 
brood of lions ; nor does wolfsbane deceive the wretched 
herb-gatherers ; nor along the ground does the scaly serpent 
sweep his immense orbs, nor with so vast a trail does he gather 
himself up into coils. Add to this so many magnificent 
cities, and works of toilsome magnitude ; ^ so many towns 
piled by the hand of man on craggy rocks ; and rivers that 
flow beneath ancient walls. Or need I mention the sea 
which washes it above, and that which washes it below ? or 
its lakes so vast ? you, mighty Larius,* and you, Benacus, 
heaving with the billows and the noise of an ocean ? Or 
shall I mention its ports, and the dam added to the Lucrine,^ 

* Mons Massicus was in Campania, and was famed for its wine. 
Hence " Massic " here simply means " excellent." 

^ Clitumnus, a river of Umbria, which falls into the Tiber. It was 
famous for its milk-white flocks, selected as victims in the celebration 
of triumphs. 

^ Great buildings, aqueducts, artificial lakes, &c. 

'' Larius, the modern Lake Como. Benacus, Lake Garda. 

* Lucrine Lake, near Cumne, on the coast of Campania. During an 
earthquake, A.D. 1538, this lake disappeared, and in its place was 
formed a mountain, two miles in circumference, and one thousand feet 
high, with a crater in the middle. Avernus, a lake of Campania, whose 
waters were so putrid that the ancients regarded it as the entrance of 
the infernal regions. Augustus united the Lucrine and Avernian lakes 
by the famous Julian harbour, and formed a communication between the 
latter lake and the sea. 

L. 142-187] GEORGICS. 83 

and the sea chafing with loud roar, where the sound of the 
|uUan w'ave is heard from afar, as the waters of the ocean are 
beaten back, and the Tuscan flood rushes into the channel of 
Avernus ? 

The same land has disclosed in its veins strata of silver, 
and mines of brass, and contains gold in abundant profusion. 
The same soil has reared a warlike race of men, the Marsi and 
the Sabcllian youth, and the Ligurian inured to hardship, and 
the Volscians armed with short spears : this same has pro- 
duced the Decii, and the Marii, and the great Camilli, the 
Scipios stubborn in war, and you, most mighty Caesar, who, at 
this very time victorious in Asia's remotest limits, are turning 
away from the Roman towers the Indian now rendered 
powerless. Hail, Saturnian land,^ great giver of earth's 
bounties, great mother of heroes ; in your cause it is that I 
approach matters held in honour by our ancestors, and 
practised by them in olden times, having dared to unseal 
the sacred springs; and I sing an Ascrsean^ strain through 
Roman cities. 

This is the place to examine the character of different 
soils ; what are their several powers, what their colour, and 
what their natural suitableness for production. First, stiff 
lands and unfruitful hills, where there is light clay and 
gravelly mould in the bushy fields, rejoice in the growth of 
Minerva's long-lived olives. You know it by the wild olive 
growing freely in the same region, and by its berries shed 
abundantly on the fields. But, to the land that is rich and 
that abounds in sweet moisture, and to the plain that is 
luxuriant in grass and of a fertile soil — such as we often see 
in the hollow basin of a mountain — streams flow from the 

^ Italy was so called, from Saturn, who, on being dethroned by 
Jupiter, fled to Italy, where he reigned during the golden age. In the 
later days of the republic, agriculture was not held in the same reputa- 
tion as in earlier times. 

- Ilesiod, the poet, was born at Ascra, in Boeotia. 

84 GEORGICS. [Book ii. 

high rocks, and deposit a fertilising mud : and that which is 
raised to the south, and nourishes the fern, plague of the 
crooked ploughs ; this will in time afford vines exceedingly- 
strong, and teeming with plenteous wine, this will be prolific 
in grapes, and in the liquor which we pour forth in libation 
into golden bowls, when the bloated Tuscan has blown the 
ivory pipe at the altars, and we offer up the smoking entrails 
in bending chargers. 

But if to keep horses and oxen is your special desire, and 
to rear their young, or the offspring of sheep, or goats that 
nip your nurseries, seek the glades and far distant fields of 
rich Tarentum, and a plain like that which hapless Mantua 
lost, feeding snow-white swans in its grassy stream. Neither 
limpid springs nor pasturage in plenty will be wanting to the 
flocks; and as much as the herds shall crop in the long days, 
so much will the cold dews restore during the short night. 

A soil that is blackish and rich under the entered plough- 
share, and whose mould is loose and crumbling, for this we 
aim at in ploughing, is generally best for corn ; from no 
plain will you see more waggons move homeward with 
tardy oxen ; or that from which the temper-tried ploughman 
has carried off the wood, and felled the groves that have been 
idle for many a year, and from their lowest roots o'erthrown 
the ancient dwellings of the birds ; they, abandoning their 
nests, soar on high, but the field hitherto untilled looks trim 
and glossy beneath the moving plough. For the sapless gravel 
of a sloping hill-side scarcely furnishes humble casia and 
rosemary for bees ; and the rough tufa and the chalky clay, 
hollowed out by the black water-snakes, declare that no other 
soil supplies to an equal extent to serpents a pleasing food, and 
affords them so many winding retreats. That land which 
exhales thin mists and flying vapour, and drinks in the 
moisture, and emits it at pleasure ; and which, always green, 
clothes itself with its own grass, and does not hurt the 
ploughshare with scurf and salt rust ; (that land) will entwine 

L. 188-247] GEORGICS. 85 

your elms with luxuriant vines ; that also is productive of 
olives ; that, you will find by experience, to be both suitable 
for cattle and fitted for agriculture. Such a soil rich Capua 
tills, and the territory in the neighbourhood of Mount Vesu- 
vius, and the Clanius, which does not spare the thinly- 
peopled Acerrae.^ 

Now I will tell you by what means you may distinguish 
each soil. If you desire to know whether it be loose or 
unusually close, since the one is favourable for corn, the 
other for wine, the close is best for grain, and the most 
loose for wine ; first, you will select a place beforehand 
and order a pit to be sunk deep where the soil is unbroken, 
and you will restore to its place again all the clay, and with 
your feet will tread the mould till it be level on the top. 
If the mould shall prove deficient, the soil will be loose, and 
better suited for cattle and for the kindly vine ; but if it 
refuses to go into the space it formerly occupied, and if, 
after the pit has been filled, any surplus of earth remain, 
the land will be close : look for stubborn clods and stiff 
ridges, and break up the earth with strong bullocks. 

But saltish ground, and what is usually called sour — tliat 
is unproductive of corn crops ; it is not rendered kindly 
by ploughing, nor does it preserve to grapes their natural 
good qualities, nor to apples their character and name — will 
give you the following indication. Take down from the 
smoky roofs baskets of close woven twigs and the strainers 
of your wine-press. Into these let some of that faulty 
mould and sweet water from the spring be pressed brimful ; 
you will find that all the water will strain out, and big drops 
pass through the twigs. But the unmistakable taste will 
prove your test, and the bitterness will, by the sensation it 
produces, twist awry the tasters' faces, expressive of their pain. 

^ Aceri'K, a town of Campania, near Naple!> ; the river Clanius 
almost surrounded the town, and by its inundations frequently de- 
populated it. 

86 GEORGICS. [Book ii. 

Again, what land is rich we briefly learn thus : When 
worked by the hand, it never breaks in pieces, but when 
held, it sticks to the fingers like pitch. The moist soil 
produces rank herbage, and is in itself richer than is proper. 

Ah, may none of mine be too fertile, nor show itself 
too strong in the early blades of corn. 

That which is heavy betrays itself by its very weight, with- 
out a test ; and also that which is light. It is easy to learn 
before cultivation that which is black, by merely looking at 
it ; and what has any other colour, and what. But to search 
out the pernicious cold is difficult : only pitch-trees, and 
sometimes noxious yews, or black ivy, exhibit traces of it. 

Having carefully observed these indications, be sure to 
prepare the ground thoroughly long beforehand, and to 
intersect the slopes, however large, with trenches, to expose 
the up-turned clods to the north wind, before you plant the 
fruitful vine. Fields of a loose, friable soil are best ; the 
winds and cold frosts produce this effect, and the sturdy 
delver, stirring his fields to loosen them. 

But all those men whom no vigilance escapes first seek 
out the same sort of soil where, in the first place, the young 
vines may be prepared for their supporting trees, and one 
to which they may afterwards be transferred, and planted 
out at due intervals, lest when set they do not take kindly to 
the sudden change of parent earth. Moreover, they even 
note on the bark the quarter of the sky, that, in whatever 
manner each stood, in whatever part it bore the southern 
heats, w^hatever side it turned to the northern pole, they 
may restore it to the same position. So powerful is habit 
in things of tender age. 

Examine first whether it is better to plant your vines on 
hills or on a plain. If you lay out the fields of a rich plain, 
plant close ; Bacchus will not be less productive in a densely- 
planted soil : but should you measure off ground gently 
ascending with hills and sloping ridges, give abundant space 

L. 248-292] GEORGICS. 87 

between your rows ; yet so that, your trees being ranged 
accurately, each passage between the rows may run at right 
angles with the path that crosses it.^ As when oftentimes, 
in a great war, a long legion has deployed its cohorts, 
and the host has taken up its position on the open 
plain, and the array of battle has been duly marshalled, and 
the whole country far and near emits a fiery gleam from 
the sheen-reflecting bronze : nor as yet do the warriors 
engage in the dreadful conflict, but Mars hovers undecided 
between the armies : (so) let all the intervals be marked off 
at equal distances, not only that the prospect may gratify 
the uninterested mind, but because in no other way will the 
earth supply equal nourishment to all, and because the 
branches will not otherwise be able to extend themselves 
into an unoccupied space, or into the open air. 

Perhaps, too, you may ask what depth is proper for the 
trenches. I would venture to commit my vine even to a 
shallow furrow. Trees, again, are sunk deeper down, and 
far into the ground : especially the sesculus, which shoots 
downward to Tartarus with its roots as far as it rises with 

' The meaning of this passage will be best understood by the figure 
of the quiitciDix, wliich was so arranged that, no matter in what position 
a spectator stood, he saw along between the rows in (at least) 
two different directions without obstruction : thus : — 


To make this more plain to the soldier-farmer, he compares it to 
the mode of drawing up an army by maniples, as in the accompanying 
figure, in which each parallelogram represents a maniple — 

D n D D Hastati 

n n D a Pnncipes 

D D D D Triarii. 

88 GEORGICS. [Book il. 

its top to the regions of heaven. Therefore winters do not 
uproot it, neither storms of wind nor storms of rain — it 
remains unmoved ; and though it passes in review many 
successive generations of men, and many ages, it outlasts 
them all ; then stretching wide its sturdy boughs and arms 
this way and that way, itself in the midst sustains a vast 
circumference of shade. 

Nor let the vineyards lie towards the setting sun ; nor 
plant the hazel among your vines ; neither seek after the 
highest twigs, nor break off your sets from the top of the tree, 
such is their love for the earth ;^ nor hack your shoots with 
blunted knife ; nor plant among them truncheons of olive ; 
for fire is often let fall from the incautious shepherds, which 
at first secretly lurking under the unctuous bark, catches the 
solid wood, and springing into the topmost leaves, sends 
heavenward a loud crackling noise ; thence pursuing its 
victorious career, it reigns supreme among the branches and 
the towering summits, and involves the whole grove in 
flames, and, dense with pitchy darkness, throws up a 
black cloud to heaven ; especially if a storm has come down 
on the woods from overhead, and the wind driving the fire 
in all directions, whirls it into a centre. When this 
happens, the vines have no strength at the root, nor can 
they recover though cut, or sprout up from the deep earth 
such as they were before ; the barren wild olive, with its 
bitter leaves, alone survives. 

Let no authority, however skilled, prevail on you to stir 
the rigid earth when Boreas blows. Then winter shuts 
up the fields with frost, and when the slip is planted, it 
does not allow the frozen root to fasten to the ground. The 
plantation of the vineyard is best, when in blushing spring 
the white stork, the enemy of long snakes, arrives ; or to- 
wards the first colds of autumn, when the strong sun does 

1 i.e., those parts nearest the ground have been assimilated to it ; 
and when pLiuted, will not feel so much the change of the native soil. 

I,. 293-34S] GEORGICS. 89 

not yet toucu me winter with his steeds, and the summer 
is now past. Spring especially is beneficial to the foliage 
of the groves ; spring is beneficial to the woods : in spring 
earth swells and demands generative seeds. Then almighty 
father ^ther descends in fertilising showers into the lap 
of his happy spouse, and mighty himself, mingling with her 
mighty body, nourishes all her offspring. Then the retired 
brakes resound with the songs of birds, and the herds 
renew their loves at their appointed times. Then bounteous 
earth is teeming to the birth, and the fields open their 
bosoms to the balmy breezes of the Zephyr : in all a kindly 
moisture abounds ; and the herbs safely venture to trust 
themselves to the early suns ; nor do the vine's tender shoots 
fear the rising south winds, or the shower precipitated from 
the sky by the violent north winds ; but put forth their 
buds, and unfold all their leaves. I should not readily 
believe that the days^ of any other season shone at the first 
birth of the infant world, or that they had a different character. 
It was spring indeed, the globe to its full extent enjoyed 
spring, and the east winds refrained from their wintry 
blasts ; when first the cattle drank in the light, and the 
iron race of men upreared their heads from the hard soil, 
and the woods were stocked with wild beasts and the 
heavens with stars. Nor could the tender productions of 
nature bear the strain if so great a rest did not intervene 
between the cold and the heat, and did not a kindly, gentle 
season visit earth in turn. 

As for the rest, whatever trees you plant throughout the 
fields, give them a coating of rich manure, and remember to 
cover them up with plenty of earth ; and bury about them 
spongy stones, or rough shells ; for thus the rains will trickle 
through, and a subtle vapour get entrance, and the plants will 
gain heart. There are some who would lay on them a stone 

' It was an ancient supposition that tlie world was created in the 

90 GEORGICS. [Book ii. 

or a large, heavy tile ; this would be a protection against the 
pouring rains, it would shelter them when the sultry dog-star 
parches the fields and makes them yawn with chinks. 

After your settings are planted, it remains to break and 
loosen the earth at the roots, and to wield the hard hoes ; 
or to work the soil with the plough, and guide your 
struggling bullocks up and down the very vineyards ; then 
to adapt to the vines smooth reeds, and uprights of peeled 
rods, and ashen stakes, and strong forked-poles ; relying on 
whose firm support they may learn to shoot up, to disregard 
the winds, and to follow stage by stage ^ to the summit of the 

And while the young plants are putting forth their early 
leaves you must spare their tender age, and while the shoot 
gladly springs heavenward, launching freely into the air with- 
out restraint,^ the vine itself must not be attacked with the 
pruning-hook, but the leaves should be gently caught by the 
bent hands and be intertwined with the supports. There- 
after, when they have now shot up, clasping the elms with 
firm stems, then strip off their leaves, then lop their 
arms Before this they dread the steel ; then, and not till 
then, exercise stern authority, and check the rushing boughs. 

Fences, too, should be made, and all cattle be kept off; 
especially while the leaves are tender and not inured to hard- 
ships ; which, in addition to severe storms and a scorching 
sun, the buffaloes and persecuting wild goats baffle in their 
growth, the sheep and the heifers eat them eagerly. Nor do 
the colds, condensed in hoary frosts, or the oppressive heat 
beating upon the scorched rocks, hurt them so much as those 
flocks, and the poison of their hard teeth, and the scar im- 
printed on the gnawed stem. 

For no other offence is the goat sacrificed to Bacchus on 

i The stages or storeys were the successive branches of the ehn, 
making a resting-place, as it were, for the young vine. 
2 Literally, "let go with loosened reins." 

L. 349-404] GEORGICS. 91 

every altar, and do the ancient plays come upon the stage : 
and the Athenians proposed prizes to men of talent about 
the villages and crossways ; and joyous amidst their cups, 
they used to dance in the soft meadows on wine-skins 
smeared with oil. Moreover, the Ausonian^ husbandmen 
also, a race derived from Troy, amuse themselves in im- 
promptu verses and unrestrained mirth ; and assume hideous 
masks made from the hollow bark of trees : and you, Bacchus, 
they invoke in jovial songs, and in honour of you hang up 
movable images- on the tall pine. Hence every vineyard 
shows youthful vigour by its goodly crop, and the hollow 
vales and retiring glens teem with plenty, and all places to 
which the god has turned his " honest " face. Therefore, in 
our country's lays, will we sing to Bacchus his praises, w'ell 
deserved, and offer chargers and the consecrated cakes; 
and the devoted he-goat led by the horn shall stand 
beside the altar, and we will roast the fat entrails on hazel 

There is also that other toil in dressing the vines, on 
which you can never bestow pains enough : for the whole 
soil must be opened up three or four times every year, and 
the clods must continually be broken with the hoes reversed; 
the whole vine-grove must be lightened of its leaves. The 
labours of the husbandman, moving round in order, return 
to him in regular course, just as the year circles again into 
itself along its own tracks. And now, when by-and-bye the 
vineyard has shed its late leaves, and the cold north wind 

^ Ausonian, &c., the inhabitants of Ausonia, an ancient name of 
Italy, who were supposed to be descended from /Eneas. 

- Oscillum was the term applied to faces or heads of Bacchus, which 
were suspended in the vineyards to be turned in every direction by the 
wind. Whichsoever way they looked, they were supposed to make the 
vines and other things in that quarter fruitful. Some interpret viollia 
as movable ; others benign, soft, gentle, representing the honest, jolly 
face of the god. From oscillum we get then the word, oscillate. 

92 GEORGICS. [Book ii. 

has shaken from the groves their leafy ornament ; even then 
the active farmer extends his cares to the coming year, and 
persecutes the fruitless, leafless vine, cropping it with Saturn's 
crooked knife, and prunes it into shape. Be the first to 
trench the ground, be the first to carry home and burn the 
prunings, and the first to put the vine-props under cover : 
be the last to reap the vintage. Twice the foliage grows 
dense upon the vines ; twice does vegetation overrun the 
vineyard with matted thorns ; each operation is a hard task. 
Admire large farms ; cultivate a small one. Besides all 
this, the rough twigs of butcher's broom are to be cut 
throughout the woods, and the reed on the river's banks: 
and the charge of the self-grown willow gives new toil. Now 
the vines are tied; now the vineyard lays aside the 
pruning-hook ; now the last vintager sings for joy on finish- 
ing his rows : yet must the earth be vexed anew, and the 
mould be stirred ; and now the rain is to be dreaded for the 
ripened grapes. 

On the other hand, the olives require no culture ; nor do 
they look for the crooked pruning-hook and griping harrows 
when once they have gained a hold in the ground, and 
have stood the blasts. Earth of herself supplies the plants 
with sufficient moisture when loosened by the bent prong of 
the hoe, and yields weighty crops when opened by the 
share. On this account foster the olive, which is rich and 
pleasing to the Goddess of Peace. The fruit-trees too, as soon 
as they feel their trunks vigorous, and acquire their proper 
strength, quickly shoot up to the stars by their own native 
powers, and need not our assistance. And no less surely, 
meanwhile, every grove is laden with produce, and the 
untended haunts of birds are crimsoned with blood-red 
berries : the cytisus is cropped ; the tall wood supplies 
torches ; and our evening fires are fed, and send forth 
floods of light. And do men hesitate to plant their trees 
and bestow care upon them ? 

L. 405-457] GEORGICS. 93 

^Vhy should I insist on greater things?^ The very willows 
and lowly broom supply either foliage for the cattle, 
or shade for the shepherds, and fences for the crops, and 
material for honey. It is a pleasure to look upon Cytorus 2 
waving with the box-tree, and to see the groves of Narycian 
pine : it is delightful to behold fields not indebted to the 
hoes, and not dependent on any care of man. Even the 
unproductive woods on the top of Caucasus, which the 
fierce winds are continually breaking and carrying away, 
yield different products, some one, some another ; they give 
pines, a wood useful for ships, and cedars and cypresses for 
houses. From such trees the husbandmen turn spokes for 
wheels ; from such they frame solid drums for waggons, and 
bending keels for ships. The willov.'s are prolific in twigs, 
the elms in leaves; but the myrtle and the cornel, useful for 
war, abound in shaft-wood ; the yews are bent into Ituraean 
bows.-'^ In like manner the smooth lindens or the lathe- 
turned box receive shape, and are fashioned by the sharp 
steel. Thus, too, the light alder, sped down the Po, swims 
the boiling stream : thus, too, the bees hide their swarms 
in the hollow bark, and in the interior of a rotten oak. 
What have the gifts of Bacchus brought us so worthy of 
record ? Bacchus has given occasion even for crime : he 
quelled by death the maddened Centaurs,"^ Rhoetus and 
Pholus, and Hylreus threatening the Lapithce with a huge 

1 Greater things, that is greater wonders in the tree-world. Even the 
lower types have all tlieir great uses. 

- Cytorus (Kidros), a city and mountain of Paphlagonia, on the 
Euxine. Narycian pitch, from Narycia, a town of the Locrians in 
Magna Graeca, in the neighbourhood of which were forests of pine, &c. 

^ Iturcean bows, from Ituroea, a province of Syria, whose inhabitants 
were famous archers. 

•* Centaurs, a people of Thessaly, represented as monsters,half men and 
lialf horses. The Lapithce were also a people of Thessaly, who inhabited 
the country about Mount Pindus and Othrys. The allusion here is to 

94 GEORGICS. [Book ii. 

Oh, inhabitants of the country, blessed to excess, if they 
but knew their mercies ! to whom, far removed from arms 
and strife, earth of her own accord most bounteously 
supplies a ready sustenance. Though a lofty mansion with 
haughty portals does not pour forth from all its halls a vast 
flow of early clients, and though men do not gaze with 
admiration at the door, partly inlaid with beautiful tortoise- 
shell, and on robes and coverlets bespangled with gold, and 
on Corinthian brass ; and if the white wool is not stained 
with Assyrian dye, nor their clear and serviceable oil adulter- 
ated with casia, yet they have peacefulness free from 
anxiety, and a life that knows not deceit, rich in varied 
resources ; yet they want not the liberty of the broad 
and open country, grottos, and natural lakes ; yet cool, 
shady vales like Tempe, and the lowing of the cattle and 
tranquil sleep beneath the trees are not denied them : there 
are pasture grounds, and haunts of game, and a youth 
whose heart is in their work, and who are accustomed to 
frugality : the sacred rites of the gods are religiously 
observed, and old age is respected. Justice, when depart- 
ing from the earth, imprinted her last footmarks among 

But first before everything, may the dear Muses, whose 
sacred vessels I bear, smitten as I am with intense love, 
accept my devotion, and teach me the constellations of 
heaven and their paths, the various eclipses of the sun and 
the labours of the moon ; what is the cause of earthquakes ; 
by what force of nature it is that the seas are made to swell 
and burst their barriers, and again sink back into their 
channels ; why winter's suns make haste to dip themselves M 
in ocean, or what delay retards its tedious nights. 

the battle of the Centaurs and Lapithse, at the celebration of the nuptials ■ 
of Pirithous, king of the latter, who invited not only the heroes of his age, 
but also the gods themselves. In the contest that ensued many of the 
Centaurs were slain, and the rest saved themselves by flight. 

L. 458-SoS] GEORGICS. 95 

But if the cold blood about my heart hinders me from 
penetrating into these departments of nature, let fields and 
streams that run among the hills be my delight ; though 
unknown to fame, may I be content with the rivers and the 
woods. Oh, where are the plains, and Spercheus, ^ and 
Taygetus,^ the scene of the Bacchanalian revels of Spartan 
maids ! Oh, that some one would transport me to the cool 
valleys of Hsemus, and shelter me with a thick shade of 
boughs ? Happy is he who has been able to trace out the 
causes of things, and who has trodden under foot all idle 
fears, and inexorable Destiny, and the roar of devouring 
Acheron ? ^ Blest, too, is he who has been intimate with the 
rural deities, Pan and old Silvanus, and the sister nymphs ! 
him neither popular favour nor the purple of kings is wont 
to move, nor discord, driving brothers hostile, nor the Dacian 
descending from the Danube all in arms; nor the great 
Roman state; and kingdoms doomed to destruction. Such 
a one is not likely to pine with grief through pity for the 
poor, nor to be envious of the rich. What food the boughs 
and what the willing fields spontaneously present he has 
been wont to gather : nor sees he aught of the unbending 
laws, and the maddened courts and municipal registers. 

Some vex the dangerous seas with oars, or rush into 
arms, or work their way into courts and the palaces of 
kings : one marks out a city and its wretched homes for 
destruction, that he may drink from jewelled cups and sleep 
on Tyrian purple. Another hoards up wealth, and lies sleep- 
less on his buried gold. One, in bewildered amazement, 
gazes at the Rostra; another, in open-mouthed delight, 

' Spercheus, a river of Thessaly. 

^ Taygetus, a mountain of Laconia, on which were celebrated the 
orgies of Bacchus : it hung over the city of Sparta, and extended from 
Taenarus to Arcadia. 

* Acheron, one of the rivers of hell, according to the ancient poets ; 
often used for hell itself. 

C,6 GEORGICS. [Book ir. 

the plaudits of the commons and the nobles, redoubled 
along benches, have arrested : some take pleasure in being 
drenched with a brother's blood ; and exchange their 
homes and dear thresholds for exile, and seek a country 
lying under another sun. The husbandman cleaves the 
earth with the crooked plough ; hence arise the labours of 
the year; hence he sustains his home and his children, 
his herds of kine, and his deserving steers. Nor is there 
any intermission such as to prevent the year from abound- 
ing in apples, or in the offspring of the flocks, or in the sheaf of 
Ceres' stalk ; or from loading the furrows w^ith increase, and 
out-stocking the barns. Winter comes : the Sicyonian ^ 
berry is trodden in the oil-presses ; the swine come home 
gladdened with acorns ; the woods yield their arbutes ; and 
the autumn sheds its various productions ; and the grapes 
are ripened to mellowness high on the sunny rocks. Mean- 
while his sweet children hang on his neck ; his faithful 
wife is pure and chaste; the cows submit their udders full of 
milk ; and the fat kids strive with one another with butting 
horns on the joyous green. The farmer himself spends 
holiday ; and, extended on a grassy plain, where there is a 
fire in the middle, and where his companions crown the 
bowl, invokes you, O Lenaeus, with libations ; and on an 
elm sets forth to the shepherds prizes to be contended for 
with the winged javelin ; then they on their part strip their 
hardy bodies for the rustic games. 

Such a life did the Sabines of old follow, such a life did 
Remus and his brother live, by such a mode of life did 
Etruria in sooth grow .powerful, and Rome became 
the fairest city on earth, and the Mistress of the World, 
and with one wall enclosed the circuit of her seven hills. 
This life, too, golden Saturn led on earth, before the 

^ Sicyonian berry, the olive, with which Sicyonia, a district of Pelo- 
ponnesus, abounded. 

L. 509-542] GEORGICS. ^7 

sceptred sway of the Dictaean ^ king, and before an impious 
race feasted on slain bullocks. Nor yet had mankind 
heard the warlike trumpets blow, nor yet the swords ring 
when laid on the hard anvils. 

But we have traversed a course immense in its extent ; 
and now it is time to unloose the reeking necks of our 

^ Dictaean king. Jupiter is so called from Mount Dicte in Crete 
where he was worshipped, and where he was reared in infancy. 





In the Third Book, after invoking the rural deities, and eulogising 
Augustus, Virgil treats of the management of cattle, laying down 
rules for the choice and breeding of horses, oxen, sheep, &c. The 
Book abounds in admirable descriptions ; many passages are in- 
imitably fine. 

I will sing of you too, great Pales, and you, far-famed 
shepherd of Amphrysus :^ of you, woods and rivers of 
Arcadia. Other themes that, in poetry, might have enter- 
tained frivolous minds, have now become all trite and 
hackneyed. Who knows not the story of the merciless 
Eurystheus," of the altars of the infamous Busiris? By 
what poet has not the boy Hylas been sung, and Latonian 
Delos ?3 or Hippodame,"* and Pelops, the keen horseman, 
memorable for his ivory shoulder ? I must try a course 
whereby I also may soar aloft and hover \-ictorious^ before 
the eyes of men. 

^ Amphrysus, a river of Thessaly, on the banks of which Apollo fed 
the flocks of king Admetus. 

^ Eurj'stheus, king of Argos and Mycenze, who, at the instigation of 
Juno, imposed upon Hercules the most perilous enterprises, well 
known by the name of the twelve labours of Hercules. Busiris, a king 
of Egypt, noted for his cruelty in sacrificing all foreigners who entered 
his countiy. 

^ Delos, a small but celebrated island of the ^gean Sea, in which 
Latona gave birth to Apollo and Diana. 

■• Hippodame, a daughter of Qinomaus, king of Pisa in Elis. Her 
father refused to marry her except to him who could overcome him in 
a chariot race ; thirteen had already been conquered, and forfeited 
their lives, when Pelops, the son of Tantalus, entered the lists, and by 
bribing Myrtilus, the charioteer of QEnomaus, insured to himself the 

® The poet modestly compares himself to Triptolemus, to whom the 
goddess Demeter (Ceres) gave a chariot with winged dragons and 
seeds of wheat, and in this he rode over the earth, teaching men the 

L- 1-27] GEORGICS. 99 

Returning from the Aonian mount, only provided that 
my Hfe be spared, I shall be the first to conduct the 
Muses in triumph to my native home.^ To you, O Mantua, 
I shall be the first to bring palms of Idumsea : and on your 
green plains I will erect a temple of marble, near the stream 
where the great Mincius winds in slow meanders, and 
fringes the banks with slender reed. I will place Caesar 
in the sanctuary, and he shall be the god of the temple : as 
a conqueror, and in Tyrian purple, the observed of all, I 
will drive a hundred four-horsed chariots along the river 
banks in honour of him. For me, all Greece, leaving 
Alpheus^ and the groves of Molorchus, shall contend in 
races and the untanned cestus. I myself, crowned with a 
wreath of olive, duly trimmed, will offer sacrifice. Even 
already, in anticipation, what joy I feel to lead the solemn 
procession to the temple and see the oxen slain ; to note 
how the scene with changing view revolves, and how the 
pictured Britons raise^ the purple curtain. On the doors 
will I represent, in gold and solid ivory, the battle of the 
Gangarida^,'* and the arms of conquering Quirinus ; and 

ways and the blessings of agriculture, as Virgil now seeks to do ; and 
as Triptolemus, on his return to Athens, established the worship of 
Demeter, so Virgil proposes on his return to establish that of his 
patron Cresar. 

^ As the first to acquire the fame and name of a poet, he may be 
justly said to bring tlie Muses to his native place. 

- Alpheus (Rufea), a river of Elis, near which the Olympic games 
were held. Molorchus, a shepherd of Argolis, who kindly received 
Hercules, and in return the hero slew the Ncmean lion which laid 
waste the country ; hence the institution of the Nemcan games. 

^ At the conclusion of a piece the curtain rose, and did not fall as 
with us. The figures of Britons, then recently known by Cesar's in- 
vasion, were interwoven in the curtain in such a position and attitude 
as to appear to rise gradually, and raise the curtain with them. This 
is a delicate compliment to Augustus, whom the Britons sued for peace 
m 727 B.C., when he was in Gaul, preparing to invade them. 

^ Gangarida', a people of Asia, near the mouth of the Ganges. 

lOO GEORGICS. [Book hi. 

here the Nile swelling with war, and high in flood, and 
columns decked in tiers with brass of captured ships. I will 
add the vanquished cities of Asia, and conquered Niphates,i 
and the Parthian, trusting to flight and to arrows shot back - 
against the enemy, and two trophies, wrested in close fight 
from two widely-distant foes, and nations twice triumphed 
over in the east and in the west. Here, too, shall stand in 
Parian marble, life-like statues, the descendants of Assaracus,^ 
and the great names of the Jove-descended race ; both 
Tros, our great ancestor, and Cynthian Apollo, founder of 
Troy. Envy, with bafded look, will quail at sight of the 
Furies, and the ruthless stream, Cocytus,* the wTcathed 
snakes of Ixion, the enormous wheel, and the stone that 
will not yield. 

Meanwhile, let us pursue the Dryads' woods and glades, 
all virgin though they be, at your request, Mcecenas, a task 
by no means light. Without you my mind conceives 
nothing grand ; come then, away with doubt and all delay. 
Cithseron ^ calls with loud halloo, and the hounds of Tay- 
getus, and Epidaurus with high-mettled steeds, and the 
sound re-echoed by the woods in concert rings out again. 

^ Niphates, a mountain of Armenia, part of the range of Taurus, 
from which the river Tigris takes its rise. 

2 The Parthians rode oiT as if in flight, and then, wheeling suddenly 
round, discharged their arrows at their pursuers. 

^ Assaracus, a Trojan prince, father of Capys, and grandfather of 
Anchises. Tros, a son of Erichthonius, king of Troy, which was so 
named after him. Cyntliian Apollo : the surname is from Cynthus, a 
mountain in the island of Delos, where Apollo and Diana were born. 

•* Cocytus, a river of Epirus, called by the poets one of the rivers of 
hell. Ixion, a king of Thessaly, whom Jupiter is feigned to have 
struck with his thunder for having attempted to seduce Juno ; he was 
bound with serpents to a wheel in hell, which was perpetually in 

^ Cithaeron, a mountain range between Attica and Bceotia, sacred to 
Jupiter and the Muses. Epidaurus (Epidauro), a city of Argolis, famed 
for a temple of Esculapius, and for its fine breed of horses. 

L. 28-74] GEORGICS. lOI 

Yet, by-and-bye, I will gird up my loins to sing of Caesar's 
keen contested fights, and to transmit his name with honour 
through as many years as Csesar is himself removed from 
the birth of Tithonus. 

Whether any one, coveting the prizes of the Olympian 
palm, breeds horses, or whether he rears bullocks which 
shall be strong for the plough, let him study with special 
care the mothers' points. The ill-looking cow is the best 
type, whose head is coarse, whose neck is long and brawny, 
and whose dew-lap hangs down from chin to knee. Then 
there is no limit to her length of side ; everything is on a 
large scale, even her foot, and she has shaggy ears beside 
her crumpled horns. And far be it from me to condemn 
one which is white and spotted, and that refuses the yoke, 
and is sometimes vicious with her horn, and in general 
appearance is somewhat like a bull, and which is altogether 
tall and stately, and which, as she walks, sweeps her foot- 
prints with the point of her tail. 

The age to engage in breeding and legitimate intercourse 
ends before ten, and begins after four years : the other parts 
of their life are neither fit for breeding nor strong for the 
plough. Meantime, while the flocks abound with the 
desires of youth, let loose the males : be the first to 
entice your cattle to the joys of love : and by generation 
raise up one brood after another. All the best period of 
the life of wretched mortals is the first to fly : diseases and 
sorrowful old age succeed, and suffering, and the unmerciful 
decree of inexorable death carrying them off. There will 
always be some cows which you may wish to change ; 
but indeed be always recruiting your stock, lest after 
animals have been lost you should feel the want of them ; 
anticipate the risk, and every year carefully select new 
recruits for the breeding cows. 

The same discriminating choice is also necessary in the 
brood of horses. Only, from their tender age, bestow special 

I02 GEORGICS. [Book hi. 

care on those males which you shall determine to use as sires 
for breeding purposes. From the very first, the thoroughbred 
colt paces the fields with a statelier step, and sets down his 
limbs with ease and grace : he is the first that dares to lead 
the way, and to brave the threatening streams, and to trust 
himself to an untried bridge ; nor is he startled by an 
idle noise. His neck is lofty, his head is small and elegant, 
his belly is short and his back plump, and his high-mettled 
chest proudly swells with brawny muscles. The bright bay 
and the grey are of generous blood ; the worst colours are 
the white and the dun. Then, if any sound of armour is heard 
at a distance, he (the thoroughbred) cannot stand still. His 
ears quiver, and he trembles with excitement in every joint, 
and snorting he works up, and in his nostrils stores, his breath 
of fire. His mane is thick, and falls on his right shoulder in 
loose confusion. But farther, a double ridge^ runs along his 
back : he paws the ground too, and heavily sounds his hoof 
of solid horn. Such was Cyllarus, tamed by the bridle of 
Amyclgean Pollux,^ and those which the Grecian poets 
have told us of, the harnessed pair of Mars, and the team 
of great Achilles. Aye, such was Saturn too, when quick 
as lightning, at the coming of his wife, he spread a mane 
upon his horse's neck, and as he fled, filled lofty Pelion with 
shrill neighing. 

Even him shut up in the home paddock, when he 
is beginning to fail, being either weakened by disease 
or stiffened by years, and regard not his old age, now 
blemished. An old horse has lost the fire of love, and 
in vain prolongs the unwelcome task ; and whenever he 

1 In a horse in good condition, a fulness of flesh near the spine is 
seen, by which two ridges are formed, one at each side of the bone. 
This is what the ancients mean by a double spine. 

2 Amyclaan Pollux was the son of Jupiter, by Leda, and the twin 
brother of Castor ; he was so called from Amycloe, a city of Laconia, 
where he was born. 

L. 75-121] GEORGICS. 103 

comes to an engagement, he is impotently keen, as at times 
a great blaze in stubble, without strength. On this ac- 
count you will note the spirit and, in an especial manner, 
the age of each ; then his other qualities, and his pedigree, 
and what pain he has felt in defeat, and what pride 
in victory. 

Don't you see it, — when the chariots have started in head- 
long struggle, and rush from the barriers in wild confusion, 
when the hopes of the youths are at the highest pitch, and 
palpitating fear drains their bounding hearts? the drivers 
press on with circling lash, and bending forward give full 
rein : on flies the wheel, aglow with the speed ; and now they 
are seen low on earth, then again they seem to be borne aloft 
through the void, and to rise high in air ; there is neither 
delay nor rest, but a cloud of yellow sand is raised ; they are 
soaked with the foam and the breath of those that follow 
them : such is their love of glory, such the anxiety for 

Erichthonius^ was the first who ventured to yoke the 
chariot and four horses, and though in rapid motion to stand 
upright in safety on the car. The Pelethronian Lapithge, 
mounted on horseback, employed reins and the training-ring, 
and taught the horseman to prance, and to curvet with 
proud steps. Both objects^ are difficult to obtain, and 
accordingly horse-breeders are equally careful to select a 
horse that is young, of warm blood and high mettle, and 
swift of foot, although the other^ may have often driven the 
routed enemy before him, and though he claim Epirus or 

^ Erichthonius, a son of Vulcan, and king of Athens : the invention 
of chariots is ascribed to him. Pelethronian Lapithix;, so called from 
Pelethronium, a town of Thessaly, at the foot of Mount Pelion, inhabited 
by the Lapithae, who were excellent horsemen. 

- That is, to procure good racers and good chargers ; or, according to 
some, good racers and good stallions. 

•' Ille, the other, i.e., the old horse spoken of above in lines 95-96. 

I04 GEORGICS. [Book hi. 

the warlike Mycenae^ as his birth-place, or trace his pedigree 
from the stock of Neptune himself. 

Having carefully observed these points, the grooms are 
eagerly attentive at the approach of the breeding season, 
and devote all their care to fill out with firm flesh that horse 
which they have chosen to be leader and sire to the flock; 
and they cut fresh and sappy grass, and give him water from 
the stream, and corn, that he may not fail to have even a 
superfluity of vigour for his pleasing task, and that a puny 
offspring may not perpetuate a meagre sire. But, on the 
contrary, they purposely reduce the mares to leanness : and, 
when now the well-known pleasure solicits the first inter- 
course, they both deny them grass and keep them from the 
springs. Often, too, they shake them in the race, and tire 
them in the sun,^ when beneath the heavy-beaten grain the 
threshing-floor cries out, and in the rising zephyr the empty 
chaff is driven before it. This they do that excessive 
pampering may not deaden the quickness of the generative 
soil, choking the channels and making them passionless; 
but that it may with greediness drink in the draught of love, 
and hide it far within. 

The care of the sires, in turn, begins to wane, and that of 
the dams to take its place. When now, some months elapsed, 
they rove about, great with young, let no. one suffer them 
to bear the yoke under heavy waggons, or to leap across a 
path, and wildly scour the meadows, and swim the rapid 
streams. Men feed them then in roomy pastures and beside 
full rivers, where there is moss, and where the banks are 
greenest with the new-grown grass, and where grottos may 
afford a shelter, and a rock may project its shade. 

^ Mycenre, a city of Argolis, once the capital of a kingdom, and the 
residence of Agamemnon. 

2 That is, " they gallop and sweat them." Some think that "tire 
them in the sun " applies to the cows only, as employed in threshing, 
while " galloping " refers to the horses. 

L. 122-168] GEORGICS. 105 

About the groves of Silarus/ and Alburnus, with its ever- 
green oaks, abounds a flying insect which the Romans 
name asilus, and the Greeks in their language have translated 
into oestros (gadfly); vicious, with harsh, shrill notes; by 
which whole herds aff"righted fly from the woods; the air is 
convulsed and maddened with their bellowings, and the 
woods and banks of waterless Tanager. With this monster 
did Juno once exercise her savage passion, having carefully 
sought out the fellest torture for the Inachian heifer.^ This 
danger too, for in the noontide heat it is more furious, you 
will ward off from your pregnant cattle ; and feed your herds 
when the sun is newly risen, or when the stars usher in the 

After birth, all attention is transferred to the young, and 
at once they brand them with marks and names :^ they also 
specially note those which they think best suited for 
keeping up the flock, or to set apart for sacrifice, or to break 
up the ground, and to plough the soil, rough with broken 
clods. The rest of the herd grazes on the green pastures. 

Those which you would train for the purposes and the 
occupation of agriculture, teach while calves, and enter on 
the mode of taming tliem whilst their young minds are 
tractable, while their age is pliant. And first harness them 
with loose collars of slender twigs ; and then, when their 
free necks have become accustomed to bondage, match your 
bullocks in pairs joined by the twisted ropes themselves, and 

^ Silarus (Silaro), a river of Italy, separating Lucania from the terri- 
tory of the Picentini. Alburnus, a lofty mountain of Lucania, at the 
foot of which rises the river Tanager (Negro). 

^ lo, daughter of Inachus, and priestess of Juno at Argos, was 
changed into a heifer by Jupiter, but afterwards restored to her own 
form, when she married Telcgonus or Osiris, king of Egypt. After 
death she was worshipped under the name of Isis. 

^ This may mean marks indicating the breed, date of birth, owner's 
name, &c., or details of individual excellence, or fitness for special 
purposes, as set forth in the next two lines. 

106 GEORGICS. [Book in. 

make them walk in step ; and now let empty vehicles be 
often drawn by them along the ground, and let them imprint 
their tracks only on the surface of the dust.^ Afterwards 
let the beechen axle straining under a ponderous load creak, 
and let the brass-girt pole draw the united wheels. Mean- 
while, for the young untamed bullocks you will crop with 
your hand not only grass, or the small willow and marshy 
sedge, but also springing corn : nor shall your new- 
calved cows fill the snowy pails, as was the custom of 
our fathers, but spend their whole udders on their sweet 

But if your taste should incline you to war and martial 
troops, or with your wheels to skim along the brink of Pisa's ^ 
Alphean streams, and drive the flying chariot in the grove 
of Jove, the first part of the horse's training must be to see 
the mettle and the arms of warriors, to stand the trumpet, 
and to bear the rumbling of the wheels in their career, and 
the rattUng bridles in his stall ; then more and more to take 
pleasure in the winning praises of his groom, and to love the 
sound of his patted neck. And these let him hear as soon as 
he is weaned from the udder of his dam, and then for a 
change let him yield his mouth to the soft halters, while still 
immature and timid, and even unconscious of his strength. 
But after three full years, when his fourth summer has 
arrived, let him forthwith begin to tread the ring, and pace 
with measured steps ; and let him learn to trot and to canter. 
Then let him challenge the winds in swiftness, and flying 
over the open plains as if in no control, scarce print his 

^ i.e.^ let there be no load to make the feet of the young oxen or the 
wheel of the vehicle sink deep. There were three modes of yoking 
cattle : \st, by the horns ; 2,>td, by the jugum or cross-bar ; and yd, by 
the torques, or twisted rope, or coupling-collar, passed round the necks of 
a pair of oxen. 

^ Pisa, an ancient city of Elis, on the banks of the Alpheus, near 
which was the plain of Olympia, where the Olympic games were held. 

L. 169-215] GEORGICS. 107 

footsteps on the surface of the sand.^ Just as when the north 
wind has come down in concentrated force from the Hyper- 
borean regions, and dispels the storms and dry clouds of 
Scythia ; then (at first) the high corn and waving fields ripple 
under the gentle breeze, the tops of the woods give forth a 
moaning sound, and the lengthened waves press onwards to 
the shore : (next) it (the N. wind) flies at headlong speed, 
sweeping in its course both land and sea. Such a steed will ' 
at the goals of Elis and its lengthened course contest the 
prize with keenest effort, and from his mouth emit the bloody 
foam : or will better bear the Belgian war-car on his obedient 
neck. Then at last, when they are broken, let their bodies 
grow large with fattening mash; for if fattened before break- 
ing, they acquire an excess of mettle, and when caught will 
refuse to bear the pliant whip and obey the knotted bit. 

But no treatment, however persisted in, more confirms their 
strength than to remove temptation from them, and the 
incentives to blind love, whether any one prefers the rearing 
of bulls or of horses. And therefore they banish the bulls 
to a distance, and to lonely pastures, behind some inter- 
vening hill, or beyond some broad rivers, or keep them 
indoors at satisfying stalls; for the female insensibly consumes 
their vigour, and frets them when in sight, and does not 

^ In this passage, very difiicult to translate with precision and 
elegance, the four main motions of a horse are set forth. First we 
have the walk in the ring ; then the amble, or perhaps the prance, "sound 
with measured tread," then the trot itself, "to bend the arching curves 
of his legs alternately" ; then the canter, "to be like one toiling ;" and 
last, the gallop — " challenge the winds in swiftness, and fly over the open 
plains." If one observes the gait of a horse in trotting, he will at once 
see the appropriateness of Virgil's description, and will observe how the 
foreleg of the horse is bent into a curve as it is lifted, and how this is 
done by one side of the horse and then by the other {alterna). In the 
canter a horse raises the forepart of his body and throws it somewhat 
back, as if the rider were reining him in, and he were struggling or toil- 
ing against the restraint — " labouring " against some difficulty. So we 
speak of a ship "labouring " in the sea. 

I08 GEORGICS. [Book hi. 

allow them to attend to the groves and pastures ; and she 
indeed, by her sweet attractions, often impels her haughty 
lovers to decide their quarrel with their horns. The 
beauteous heifer feeds in the great wood of Sila; they with 
"changing blows" engage in battle with great vehemence 
and with many wounds ; black blood drenches their bodies 
and with loud roars their opposing horns are dashed into 
* the enemy ; the woods and even the wide heavens give 
back the awful sound. Nor is it usual for those at enmity 
to stall together, but the one that is vanquished retires and 
lives a wanderer in distant regions, much bewailing his 
defeat and the wounds inflicted by the proud victor, and 
besides, the loved object he has lost without revenge ; and 
often casting a lingering look at the stalls, he leaves his 
ancestral home. Therefore with the utmost care he exercises 
and trains his powers, and lies the live-long night among the 
hard rocks in an unlittered lair, feeding on coarse leaves and 
bitter sedge : He tests himself, and by butting against the 
trunk of a tree he learns to concentrate his wrath in his 
horns, and challenges the winds with his blows, and as a 
prelude to the fight he spurns the sands. Afterwards, when 
his sturdy muscle has been regained, and his powers re- 
cruited, he starts at once,^ and rushes headlong on his unwary 
foe, as a wave, when it begins to whiten in the midst of the 
sea, draws on its lengthening curve from far, and from the 
deeper w^ater, and as it rolls to land, with awful roar among 
the rocks it falls in thunder like a mountain peak; but the 
depths of the water seethe up in foaming eddies, and toss on 
high the sable sand. 

In truth, every kind on the earth, both of men and wild 
beasts, the fish, the cattle, and plumaged birds, rush to the 
frenzy and the fire of love : in all there is the same love. At 
no other time does the lioness, forgetful of her whelps, range 
the plains in fiercer fury ; nor do the unshapely bears cause 
^ Literally, " strikes the tents." 

L. 216-275] GEORGICS. 109 

deaths to so many, and such havoc in the woods ; then is the 
boar ferocious, then is the tiger most vicious. It is then, 
alas ! dangerous to wander in the lonely fields of Libya. See 
you not how tremor thrills through the horse's whole body 
if the well known scent is wafted on the breeze ? And now 
neither bridles of men, nor the cruel lash, nor cliffs, nor 
hollow rocks, and rivers in his path oppose him, even such 
as seize and sweep away whole mountains in their course. 
Even the Sabellian boar madly rushes about, and whets his 
teeth, and with his feet tears up the ground, rubs his flanks 
against a tree, and on this side and that hardens his shoulders 
to wounds. What does the youth do in whose vitals relent- 
less love stirs the powerful flame ? AVhy, late in the dark 
and dangerous night he swims the strait, upturned with 
sudden gusts ; over him the great gate of heaven thunders, 
and the seas dashing against the rocks remonstrate with 
him. Neither can his distressed parents recall him, nor the 
maiden about to perish " on the head of it " by a cruel fate. 
What of the spotted ounces of Bacchus, and the fierce race 
of wolves and dogs ? what of the dreadful battles which the 
timorous stags wage ? Of a truth, the mad love of mares is 
notable above all others; and this passion Venus herself gave, 
when his four Potnian mares tore the limbs of Glaucus^ 
to pieces with their jaws. Love drives them across Gargarus, 
and roaring Ascanius :- they scale mountains, and ford 
rivers. And forthwith, when desire is secretly kindled in 
their eager marrow, chiefly in spring, for in spring the heat 
returns into their bones, they all, with their faces turned 
towards the Zephyr, stand on cliffs and catch the gentle 
gales ; and often, wondrous to relate ! impregnated by the 
wind, without any male intercourse, they fly over stones 

^ Glaucus, a son of Sisyphus, king of Corinth, who was torn to pieces 
at Potnia, in Bceotia, by his own mares. 

^Ascanius, afterwards called the Ilylas, a river of Bithynia, in Asia 
Minor, flowing into the Propontis (Sea of Marmora) near Cios. 

no GEORGICS. [Book III. 

and rocks and deep-sunk valleys, not towards your rising- 
place, O Eurus, nor to that of the sun, but towards Boreas 
and CauruSji or whence pitchy Auster rises, and shrouds 
the heaven with his rainy cold. Here at length a viscous 
humour distils from their groins, which the shepherds call 
"hippomanes" by its proper, name, and which wicked step- 
mothers often gather, and to noxious herbs add no unharm- 
ful spells. 

But meanwhile Time, Time that cannot be recalled, is 
fleeting, while enamoured of my theme I enter into all 

Enough on herds : a second part of my task remains, to 
treat with care of woolly sheep and rough-haired goats. In 
this let your occupation be : from it hard-working farmers 
hope for due reward. And I am well aware how difficult it 
is to master these things in language, and to add the dignity 
of verse to lowly subjects : but my cherished desire to do 
so hurries me along the untrodden heights of Parnassus : it 
delights me to go on those summits, where no track of 
previous poets turns down to Castalia ^ with a gentle incline. 

Now, adorable Pales, now must I sing in lofty strain. In 
the first place, I advise you shepherds to feed your sheep on 
fodder in well-littered pens, till by-and-bye the leafy spring 
return : and to strew the hard ground under them with plenty 
of straw and with handfuls of fern, lest the icy cold hurt the 
tender flock, and bring on the mange and filthy foot-rot. 
Next, leaving them, I bid you to provide the goats with leafy 
arbutes, and to supply them with water from the stream ; 
and, avoiding winds, to turn their stalls towards the south, 
and make them face the winter sun, when cold Aquarius ^ 

^ Caurus, the north-west wind ; Auster, the south wind. 

^ Castaha, a celebrated fountain of Mount Parnassus, sacred to the 

^ Aquarius, one of the signs of the Zodiac, rises in January, and, as 
its name imports, is frequently accompanied with rain. 

L. 276-331] GEORGICS. 1 1 1 

now at length sets, and in the extremity of the year pours 
forth his rains. Nor are these goats to be tended by us with 
less care ; nor will their profit be less, though Milesian 
fleeces, that have drunk the Tyrian dye, be sold for a great 
price ; from these is a more numerous breed, from these a 
greater quantity of milk ; the more the pail froths with their 
exhausted udder, the more will abundant streams flow from 
their pressed teats. Meanwhile, men are no less careful to 
clip the beards and hoary chins and long waving hair of 
the Cinyphian ^ he-goats, for military purposes and for 
clothing to sailors in their life of hardships. And then they 
find pasture from the woods, from the summits of LycEcus, 
from the rough brambles, and from thickets that love the 
craggy rocks ; and the goats of their own accord return home, 
watchful of the time, and bring their young with them, and 
scarce can pass the threshold with their laden udders. 
Therefore, the less they need the attention of man, the more 
careful must you be to defend them from the cold and the 
snowy winds ; and you must ungrudgingly bring them food, 
and leafy boughs ; and shut not up your hay-lofts during 
the whole winter. 

But when the summer, rejoicing in the inviting Zephyrs, 
shall send forth both sheep and goats into the lawns and 
pastures, at the first appearance of Lucifer, let us make 
for the cool fields, while the morning is young, while the 
grass is hoary, and the dew, most grateful to the cattle, is 
still on the tender blade. Then, as soon as the fourth hour 
of day has accumulated the heat, and the plaintive grass- 
hoppers shall burst the groves with their notes, I will bid 
the flocks at wells or deep pools to drink from oaken troughs 
the water of the stream ; but in the noontide heats, I will 

^ Cinyphian he-goats, from Cinyphus, a river and country of Africa, 
near Tripolis. Goats' hair was used largely in the manufacture of 
cloth for the covering of tents, and military engines such as the plutei, 
for sailors and soldiers' dress, ropes, <S:c. 

112 GEORGICS. [Book III. 

advise the shepherd to seek out a shady vale, wherever 
Jove's stately oak with its strength of years extends its huge 
boughs, or wherever a dark grove of dense holms lies near in 
peace with hallowed shadow. Then give them once again 
the limpid streams, and once again feed them at the setting 
of the sun, when cool Vesper moderates the temperature, and 
the dewy moon now refreshes the lawns, and the shores 
resound with the kingfisher, and the bushes with the 

Why should I go on to tell you in verse of the shepherds 
and pastures of Libya, and their settlements with few and 
thinly scattered huts ? Their flocks often graze both day and 
night, and for a whole month together, and repair into 
deserts without any shelter ; such an extent of plain lies open 
to them. The African shepherd carries his all with him, 
his house and his home, his arms, his Amyclean dog, and 
Cretan quiver : like the vigorous Roman, when equipped in 
his country's arms, he takes his way under his load, and 
having pitched his camp, stands in array of battle before he 
is expected by the foe. 

But not so, where are the Scythian nations, and the 
Maeotic sea,^ and the turbid Ister, whirling his yellow sand ; 
and where Rhodope retires,^ and then bends back directly 
underneath the pole : there they keep their herds shut up 
in stalls ; nor is either any grass to be seen in the fields or 
leaves on the trees, but the country lies featureless with 
mounds of snow and deep ice far as the eye can reach, and 
rises seven ells in height. It is always winter, always north- 
west winds, with their chilling blast. Then further, the sun 
never dissipates the dingy shades, either when borne 
on his steeds he climbs the lofty sky, or when he bathes his 

^ M3eotic waves, i.e. Palus Maeotis, now the Sea of Azov or Azof. 

^ Rhodope is a chain of mountains in Thrace, which extends east- 
ward, and is then joined with Haemus, and parting from it, returns 

L- 332-3S9] GEORGICS. 1 1 3 

swift chariot in the reddened plain of ocean. Sheets of ice 
suddenly are congealed in the running river : now on its 
surface the water sustains the iron-shod wheels ; that water 
formerly the home of ships, now of broad and clumsy 
waggons. Vases of brass burst everywhere, clothes are 
congealed on the body, they cut with axes the liquid wine, 
and whole pools turn to solid ice, and the icicles grow hard 
and lumpy on their uncombed beards. Meanwhile, with no 
less vehemence does the snow fall from the whole heavens ; 
the small animals perish ; the huge bodies of oxen stand 
encased in hoar-frost ; and the deer, huddling together for 
heat, lie benumbed under the unusual load, and scarcely 
overtop it with the tips of their horns. These they liunt 
not with hounds let loose, nor with any toils, nor do they 
drive them in a state of terror, through fear of the crimson 
feathers ; ^ but coming close up they slay them with their 
weapons as they struggle and push with their breasts against 
the opposing wreath of snow, and they cut them down as 
they roar piteously ; and with loud acclamation bear them 
off triumphant. The inhabitants themselves, in caves dug 
deep under ground, enjoy undisturbed leisure, and roll to 
their hearths piled oaks, and whole elms, and give them to 
the (lames. Here they spend the night in play ; and joyous, 
counterfeit the juice of the grape with their beer and acid 
cider. Such is that wild race of men lying under the 
northern Bear, who are buffeted by the Rhip^an east wind, 
and whose bodies are clothed witli the tawny furs of 

If the preparation of wool be your object, first let prickly 
shrubs, such as burrs and caltrops, be avoided ; shun rich 
pastures ; and from the very first choose animals that are 
white and that have soft wool. The ram, however, though 
in his body he is pure white, reject if he has only a black 
tongue in his moist mouth, lest the fleeces of the young 

^ On the " formido " here spoken of, see note on /En. iv. 121. 


1 14 GEORGICS. [Boo 


lambs be marked with dark spots ; and look out for 
another in the well-stocked field. Thus it was that Pan, 
the god of Arcadia, if the story be worthy of credit, deceived 
you, O moon, captivated by the gift of a snow-white ram, 
inviting you into the deep groves ; nor did you scorn his 

But let him who desires abundance of milk carry to the 
cribs with his own hand the cytisus, and plenty of water- 
lilies and salt herbs. After this food the animals take 
more delight in water, and distend their udders the more, 
and give milk with a slightly saltish taste. 

Many keep the new-fallen kids from their dams, and 
fasten muzzles with iron spikes on their noses. What they 
milk at sunrise and during the day, they press at night ; 
what they milk when the darkness is now coming on and 
the sun is setting, they press and carry forth in baskets (the 
shepherd goes to town with it), or sprinkle it with a little 
salt and lay it past for winter. 

Nor let your care of dogs be the last ; but feed at once j 
with fattening whey the swift hounds of Sparta, and the 
fierce mastiff of Molossis.^ While these are your guards, 
you need never fear the nightly robber for your stalls, the 
inroads of the wolves, or the restless Iberians coming upon 
you by stealth. Often, too, wnth your dogs you will pursue 
the timorous wild asses in the chase, and will hunt the hare 
and the hinds. Often by the barking of your dogs you will 
rouse the boar from his marshy lair, and pursue him in wild 
confusion, and on the lofty mountains will force the giant 
stag to the nets with loud halloo. 

Learn also to burn fragrant cedar in the folds, and to 
drive away the noxious water-snakes with the scent of 
galbanum. Often under the mangers, when not cleaned 
out, either the viper of pernicious touch lies concealed, and 

^ Molossis, a district in the south of Epirus, celebrated for its fierce 
breed of hounds, much used as watch-dogs. 

L. 390-445] GEORGICS. I 1 5 

flies the light of day through fear ; or that snake, the 
direful pest of kine, which is wont to shelter itself under 
cover, and shed its venom on the cattle, keeps close to the 
ground.^ Take stones, shepherd, take clubs ; and while 
he rears his threatening head, and swells his hissing neck, 
knock him down : and now in flight he has hidden deep in 
earth his coward head, when the wreaths of his body and 
the train of his far distant tail are relaxed, and the last coil 
drags out its slowly moving folds. There is also that bane- 
ful snake in the Calabrian brakes,- rolling up his scaly back, 
with breast erect, and long belly speckled with broad spots ; 
which, so long as waters burst from the wells, and so long 
as the lands are moist with the rainy spring and watery 
south winds, keeps to the pools, and lodging in the banks, 
gorges his horrid maw with fish and the croaking frogs. 
When the fen is dried up, and the soil is rent with drought, 
he darts forth on dry ground, and, rolling his fiery eyes, 
wildly scours the fields, made savage by thirst, and in terror 
from the heat. Forbid that I should then indulge soft 
slumbers in the open air, or lie on the grass on a wooded hill, 
when, after casting his slough, he springs forth fresh and 
bright in youthful vigour, leaving his young or his eggs in 
his den, and sunward rears his head, and makes his three- 
' forked tongue to dart and quiver in his mouth. 

I will also teach you the causes and the signs of their dis- 
eases. The filthy scab attacks the sheep when the chilling 
shower has sunk into the quick, and winter, crisp with 
hoary frost ; or when the sweat, not washed away, has 
adhered to them after they have been shorn, and prickly 
briers have torn their bodies. On this account the shep- 
herds dip the whole flock in pure and sweet streams, 

^ Or " always lives under ground," i.e. has a light covering of earth 
over him. 

- Cal.ilnia is a country in the south of Italy, anciently part of Magna 


and the ram, to drench his fleece, is plunged into the pool, 
and then is set to float down stream ; or they besmear their 
bodies after shearing with bitter lees of oil, and mix with it 
litharge of silver, native sulphur, pine-tar, and rich wax, with 
oil commingled, squills too, rank smelling hellebore, and black 
bitumen. But there is not any more efficacious remedy for 
their sufferings than if one could open the head of the ulcer 
with a lance : the disease is fostered and kept alive by being 
unopened, while the shepherd refuses to apply the healing 
hand to the sores, or sits idly by praying the gods for 
better omens. 

Moreover, when the " trouble," penetrating into the inmost 
bones of the moaning sheep, becomes acute, and the 
parching fever wastes away their bodies, it has been found use- 
ful to drive out the aggravated inflammation, and in the lower 
part of the foot to open a vein throbbing with blood ; just 
as the Bisaltse ^ do, and the vigorous Gelonian, when he flies 
to Rhodope, and the deserts of the Get^, and drinks mares' 
milk, thickened with the blood of horses. 

Whatever sheep you see either at a distance from the 
rest, or retiring frequently under the soothing shade, or 
listlessly cropping the tops of the grass, and following in the 
rear and feeding, as it lies, in the open plain, and returning by 
itself late at night, at once kill that faulty one with the knife,' 
before the dire contagion spreads among the unwary flock. 

Not so numerous are the whirlwinds which drive before 
them the wintry storm, and descend with vehemence on the 
ocean, as are the plagues ^ which attack cattle ; and diseases 
seize not individual sheep alone, but all the summer folds, 

^ BisaltK, a people of Macedonia or Thrace. Getoe, a people of Eu- 
ropean Scythia, inhabiting that part of Dacia near the mouth of the 

- Virgil is much indebted to Thucydides and Lucretius throughout 
the following description, as those who have read these authors will 

L. 446-502] GEORGICS. 117 

both the young and their dams alike and in fact the 
whole stock, root and branch. Then may one know it as 
soon as he sees, even long afterwards, the ' soaring Alps,' 
and the Noric strongholds on the heights, and the pastures 
of the lapidian Timavus, and the haunts of the shepherds 
now abandoned, and the glens and glades with not a hoof 
for miles and miles. Here, once upon a time, a direful 
season occurred, through a pestilential atmosphere, and the 
air burned with all the force of autumn's heat, and did to 
death all kinds of tame and savage beasts. It both polluted 
the waters and tainted the fodder with disease. Nor were 
the symptoms and the character of the malady of one kind 
only, but when the burning fever, coursing through every 
vein, had shrivelled up their wretched bodies, again the 
diseased watery humour became excessive, and absorbed the 
bones which melted into it piecemeal. Often in the midst 
of the sacrifice, the victim standing at the altar, while the 
woollen wreath is being entwined with the snowy fillet, has 
dropped down in the agonies of death among the hands of 
the lingering attendants. Or if the priest had slaughtered 
any one before it fell, neither do entrails, when laid on the 
altars, burn, nor is the augur, when consulted, able from it 
to give responses ; and the knives, though driven upwards, 
are scarcely tinged with blood, and the surface of the sand 
hardly stained with the thin and watery gore. Hence the 
calves in great number expire in the midst of abundant pas- 
tures, and give up their dear lives at the full cribs. Hence the 
kindly dogs are seized with madness ; and wheezing cough 
shakes the diseased swine, and suffocates them with swollen 
throats. The horse that often won the prize, unprofited by 
former honours, and heedless of his grass, now loathes the 
streams, and with his foot oft beats the ground ; his ears 
are drooped, there, too, a fitful sweat appears, and that in- 
deed is cold in those about to die ; his skin is dry, and 
as one handles it, presents no softness to the touch. 

Il8 GEORGICS. [Book 


In fatal cases they show these symptoms in the early days 
of their illness ; but when the disease in its progress gets 
more severe, then indeed their eyes are fiery red, and their 
long-drawn breathings sometimes are weighted with a groan, 
and they distend and contract their remotest flanks with a 
deep sob ; black blood oozes from their nostrils, and the 
rough tongue presses against their closed-up jaws. It has 
been found useful to pour wine into them through a horn 
inserted in the mouth ; this appeared the sole remedy for 
the dying : soon after, this very thing proved their destruc- 
tion ; and being reinforced with frenzied fever they became 
frantic, and they themselves, now in the agonies of death — 
may the gods allot better things to the good, and give such 
madness to our foes ! — tore and mangled their limbs with 
teeth all bare. Lo, the bull, too, reeking under the oppres- 
sive share, drops down, and vomits forth blood mixed with 
froth, and heaves his latest groans. The ploughman, 
unyoking the steer saddened by his comrade's death, 
departs with heavy heart, and in the midst of his work 
leaves the plough fixed in the earth. But him, neither the 
shades of the deep groves nor the soft meadows then affect, 
nor the rivulet, which, wending its way among the rocks, 
seeks the plain, purer than amber. Moreover, the extremities 
of his sides grow flaccid, a stupor dulls his listless eyes, and 
his neck droops to the ground, down-borne by weight. 
What do their labours or kind services now profit them ? 
what avails it to have turned the heavy lands with the share ? 
Yet they were never injured by the rich gifts of Bacchus, or 
by banquets of many courses. They feed on leaves and 
the nourishment of plain grass ; the crystal springs and 
rapid running rivers are their drink ; and no anxiety breaks 
their healthful slumbers. It is said that at no other time 
were cattle sought in vain in those regions for Juno's sacred 
rites, and that chariots were drawn to her lofty shrine 
by ill-matched buffaloes. Therefore with difficulty men 

L- 503-561] GEORGICS. 119 

furrow the ground with hoes, and bury the seed with their 
very nails, and with straining necks drag the creaking 
waggons over the high hills. The wolf meditates no raids 
upon the folds, nor prowls about the flock by night ; a 
sterner care subdues him. The timorous deer and bounding 
stags now saunter among the dogs and about the houses. 
Now, too, the waves wash out upon the beach the produce 
of the boundless ocean, and fish of all kinds, like ship- 
wrecked bodies ; and the seals, contrary to their wont, fly 
to the rivers. The viper, too, in vain seeking protection in 
her winding burrow, expires ; and the water-snakes, whose 
scales erect betoken their dismay. Even to the very birds 
the air is fatal ; and falling headlong, they leave their lives 
beneath the lofty cloud. 

Besides, it is now of no avail to change their food, and 
remedies carefully devised prove hurtful : Chiron,^ son 
of Philyra, and Melampus, son of Amythaon, masters in 
the healing art, both baffled, gave it up ; Tisiphone, ^ sent 
from the Stygian glooms to light, ghastly with rage, gives 
way to deeds of cruelty : diseases and affright she drives 
before her, and towering aloft, she raises higher day by day 
her devouring head. With bleating of the sheep, and con- 
stant lowing of the cattle, the rivers, the withered banks, 
and sloping hills resound ; and now in heaps she deals de- 
struction, and in the very stalls piles up carcases putrefying 
in foul corruption, till men learn to bury them in the ground, 
and cover them in pits. For neither were their hides of any 
use, nor could they remove the taint and fit the flesh for 
food by washing or by boiling, or by roasting it with fire ; 
nor durst they so much as shear the fleeces corrupted with 

^ Chiron, one of the Centaurs, son of Saturn and Philyra, was 
famous for his skill in music, physic, and gymnastics. Melampus, a 
celebrated soothsayer and physician of Argos. 

- Tisiphone, one of the Furies, who was the minister of divine ven- 
geance, and punished the wicked in Tartarus. 

120 GEORGICS. [Book 


disease and filthy discharge, or touch the infected yarn. 
But, moreover, if any one risked the loathsome garments, 
fiery pustules and disgusting sweat overspread his fetid limbs, 
and then, in no long time, the sacred fire^ devoured his body 
all diseased. 

^ "Sacred fire," sacer -ignis, was a disease something similar to 

L. 1-18] GEORGICS. 121 


The subject of the Fourth Book is the management of bees ; their habits, 
economy, pohty, and government, are described with the utmost fidehty, 
and with all the charm of poetry. The Book concludes with the 
beautiful episode of Aristceus recovering his bees. 

In pursuance of my plan, I will now treat of the divine 
gift of aerial honey.^ Look with favour, O IVfecenas, on 
this part also of my work. I will place before you the mar- 
vellous exhibition of a miniature republic, and will tell 
of high-spirited chiefs, and, in due order, of the national 
character and habits of the whole race, and of their pursuits, 
their tribes, and their wars. Upon a common-place subject 
is the labour spent, but not small will be the renown, should 
unpropitious deities permit me, and should Apollo, when 
invoked, bend an ear to my prayers. 

In the first place, a good locality must be sought for the 
bees, and a site for the hives, where, on the one hand, the 
winds may not have access — for the winds interfere with 
them in carrying home their food— and where, on the other, 
neither sheep nor frisky kids may tread upon the flowers, 
or a heifer, straying from the plain, may brush off the dew 
and bruise the springing grass. 

Also let the speckled lizards with scaly backs be far from 
the well-stocked hives, and woodpeckers, and other birds ; 
and the swallow,- whose breast is stained with her bloody 
hands. For they devastate all around, and in their mouths 
bear away the bees themselves while on the wing, a sweet 
morsel for their merciless young. But let clear springs and 

^ Aerial honey : the theory was, that the honey was derived from dew ; 
it was only the wax that was got from flowers. 

- Procne, the wife of Tereus, king of Thrace, was feigned to have 
been changed into a swallow. See note on Eel. 6, line 79- 

122 GEORGICS. [Book i v. 

pools edged with green moss be near, and a rivulet coursing 
with shallow stream through the grassy meads ; and let a 
palm or stately wild olive overshade the entrance; that, when 
the new chiefs lead forth the first swarms in the favouring 
spring, and the young bees, issuing from the hives, indulge 
in sport, the neighbouring bank may invite them to withdraw 
from the heat, and the tree facing them may receive them with 
its leafy shelter. Into the midst of the water, whether it be 
still or briskly running, throw willows crosswise, and huge 
stones, that they may rest upon frequent bridges, and spread 
their wings to the summer sun, if perchance an eastern 
blast has wet those that lag behind, or immersed them in 
the flood. Near these surroundings let green casia, and 
fragrant wild thyme, and a supply of strong-scented savory 
grow in abundance, and let beds of violets drink a 
welling ^ fountain. 

But as for your hives themselves, whether they be made 
of hollow bark or woven with pliant osier, let them have 
their inlets narrow ; for winter congeals the honey with its 
cold, and heat melts it and causes it to run : both agents 
are equally dreaded by the bees : nor is it for nothing that 
they smear with wax^ the small crevices in their "caps," 
and fill up the edges with fucus and flowers, and collect and 
preserve for that very purpose a glue which is more tenacious 
than bird-lime, or the pitch of Phrygian Ida. Often also, 
if the report be true, they make a comfortable home under 
ground, having excavated hiding-places, and they have been 
found deep down in hollow pumice-stones, and the cavity 
of a rotten tree. Be careful, however, to smear their chinky 
hives all round with smooth mud to keep them warm, and 
strew them thinly over with leaves. And suffer not a yew 

^ Observe the active force of '"irriguos," viz., welling and watering 
the flowers. 

^ Called propolis^ or bee-glue, a resinous gum obtained from the 
buds of certain trees, such as the birch, the willow, and the poplar. 

L. 19-73] GEORGICS. 123 

near thtir homes, nor burn in the fire the reddening crab- 
shells, and do not allow them to be near a deep fen, or 
where there is a noisome smell of mire, or where the vaulted 
rocks resound on being struck, and the tones of the voice 
return in echo. 

For what remains, when the golden sun has overcome the 
winter and driven it under ground, and opened the earth and 
sky with summer light, they forthwith roam through the lawns 
and woods, and reap the harvest of bright-hued flowers, and 
lightly sip the surface of the streams. Hence, rendered 
joyous by some sweet influence or other derived from them, 
they cherish their offspring and their home; hence they 
form with cunning art the fresh-gathered wax, and shape the 
clammy honey. Upon this, when now you see a swarm, after 
emerging from the hives into the open air, float through the 
serene summer sky, and marvel at the blackening cloud 
driven about by the wind, mark it well : they are always 
seeking for waters and leafy coverts : in this direction, 
sprinkle the juices prescribed, bruised balm and the common 
herb of honey-wort; ring bells, and beat all around the 
cymbals of mother Cybele.^ They of themselves will settle 
on the seats prepared ; they of themselves, after their 
manner, will retreat into the inmost cells.- 

But if they shall have gone forth to battle — for a feud, 
with violent excitement, often arises between rival chiefs — 
then you may at once, and at a distance, discover the spirit 
that animates the multitude, and know that their hearts are 
panting for war. For that well-known call to arms of the 
hoarse trumpet chides the lingerers, and a sound is heard 
like the broken and fltful notes of the bugle horn. Then 
they meet in great commotion, they flash forth defiance with 

^ Cybele, called the Mother of the Gods, was the daughter of Ctehis 
and Terra, and wife of Saturn. 

- i.e., tlie inmost cells of the new " beescap " made ready to receive 
the swarm. 

124 GEORGICS. [Book IV. 

their wings and sharpen their stings upon their proboscis, 
and get their arms ready for action, and, flocking to his 
pavilion, they crowd around their chief, and with loud buzz- 
ing murmurs call forth the foe to battle. 

As soon, therefore, as -they find the clear spring day and 
the stormless sky, they rush impetuous from their gates : 
in middle air they meet in shock of battle ; a din is heard ; 
closing in fight they mingle in a whirling mass, and fall 
headlong to the ground : hail rains not thicker from the air, 
nor acorns in such quantity from the shaken oak. The chiefs 
themselves, moving between the hosts, distinguished by their 
wings, wield mighty souls in tiny bosoms ; obstinately 
determined not to yield till the undisputed victor has com- 
pelled either these or those to turn their backs in flight. 
Such excitements of passion, aye, and such threatening 
contests, are checked and lulled to rest by the flinging of a 
little dust. 

But when you have recalled both leaders from the battle, 
put him that seems inferior to death, lest he may damage 
the hive, being a superfluous chief; and suffer the better 
one to reign in the palace without a rival. The one will 
glitter with scale-like spots of gold : for there are two sorts : 
this is the better, distinguishable both by his mien, and con- 
spicuous wdth glittering scales; the other is unsightly through 
sloth, and quite unfit for deeds of glory he drags along a 
massive paunch. 

As there are two styles of the chiefs, so there are two makes 
of their subjects.^ For the one set are disgustingly squalid, 
as the thirsty wayfarer is when he comes from his journey 
on a road deep with dust, and spits forth the sand from his 
parched mouth : the others shine and sparkle with bright- 
ness, ablaze with gold, and having their bodies spangled with 
uniform spots. This is the better breed : from these at 

1 This, like many other of Virgil's statements respecting bees, is er- 

L. 74-126] GEORGICS. 125 

stated seasons of the year you will press the sweet honey ; 
yet not so much sweet as pure, and calculated to correct the 
harsh taste of wine. 

But when the swarms fly about aimlessly and sport in 
the air, lose interest in their hives, and leave their cells cold, 
you will restrain their light-purposed minds from their idle 
play. Nor is there great difficulty in preventing them : just 
disable the wings of their chiefs ; not one will dare, while 
they stay behind, to fly aloft, or to depart from the camp. 

Let gardens fragrant with saffron flowers invite them ; and 
let the Hellespontian Priapus, who with his willow pruning- 
bill wards off thieves and birds, be their guardian. Let him 
whom these things concern be careful to bring thyme and 
pines from the high mountains, and plant them all around ; 
let him wear his hands with the hard labour; let him 
himself plant fruit-bearing shoots in the ground, and make a 
channel for the kindly water. 

And indeed, were I not just furling my sails at the end of 
my toilsome journey, and hastening to turn my prow to 
land, perhaps I might sing both what method of culture 
would adorn rich gardens, and the rose-beds of twice bloom- 
Pffistum ; 1 and how endive and banks green with parsley 
delight in drinking the rills ; and how the melon - winding 
through the grass grows into a globe-shape: nor had I passed 
in silence the late-flowering daffodil, or the stalks of the 
drooping acanthus, or the pale ivy, and the myrtles that love 
the shores. For I remember that, under the lofty turrets of 
GEbalia,^ where black Galtesus waters the yellowing fields, 

^ Pa^stum, a town of Lucania, on the Cuilf of Salerno. 

- This is not our common cucumber, but Conconuro serpentiuo, 
which is twice its length, has a crooked neck and swollen belly, and 
tastes like the melon. Some count it a sort of melon. 

3 CEbalia, i.e. Tarcntum. It was so called because built by a colony 
under Phalanthus, who came from G^.balia, a name given to Laconia, 
in Greece, from a mythical king called (l-:balus. Galcesus, a river of 
Calabria, (lowing into the Bay of Tarentum. 

126 GEORGICS. [Book IV. 

I saw an old Corycian,^ to whom belonged a few acres of 
unclaimed land ; and that soil was not rich enough for the 
plough, nor suitable for flocks, nor adapted to vines. Yet 
here among these brambly brakes, planting a few pot-herbs, 
and white lilies round them, vervain, and small-grained 
poppies, he equalled in his contentment of mind the wealth 
of kings ; and returning late at night, he loaded his board 
with unbought dainties. He was the first to gather the rose 
in spring, and apples in autumn; and even when dreary 
winter was splitting the rocks by its cold, and was bridling 
up the current of the rivers with ice, at that very time he 
was gathering the leaves of the soft acanthus, taunting the 
summer for its lateness and the west winds for their delay. 

He, therefore, was the first to have queen-mothers and 
their numerous progeny, and to squeeze and strain the 
frothing honey from the pressed combs ; he had limes and 
pines in great abundance and luxuriance ; and as many apples 
as the fertile tree had been clothed with in early blossom, so 
many it retained to ripeness in autumn. He too transplanted 
and arranged in order the elms, even though late, and hard 
pear-trees, and blackthorns now bearing engrafted plums, 
and the plane already affording shade to drinkers. But these 
I for my part pass over, prevented by limited space, and leave 
them to be taken up by others after me. 

Now, come, I will lay clearly before you those natural 
qualities and instincts which Jupiter imparted to bees as an 
extra gift : (I will show) for what a noble hire it was that, fol- 
lowing the sounds of the Curetes,^ and their tinkling cymbals, 
they fed the king of heaven in the Dictaean cave. They 
alone have an offspring in common ; they alone share the 
buildings of their city with equal rights, and pass their lives 
under inviolable laws ; and they alone know what " native 

^ A native of Corycus (a town of Cilicia), who had settled in Italy. 
^ Curetes, or Corybantes, the priests of Cybele, who inhabited Mount 
Ida in Crete. 

L. 127-17S] GEORGICS, 127 

country " means, and " settled household gods." And, 
mindful of the coming winter, they engage in toil in summer, 
and store their acquisitions in a common stock. For some 
have the charge of the food, and by a settled arrangement 
busy themselves in the fields ; some within the inclosure 
of their hives lay Narcissus'^ tears, and clammy gum from 
bark of trees, for the first foundation of the combs, and 
then build downwards ^ the viscid wax ; others lead out new 
hives, the hope of the race ; others pack the crystal honey, 
and distend the cells with its liquid nectar. There are some 
to whom the charge has been assigned to guard the outer 
entrance, and taking it by turns they look for rain and 
observe the clouds of heaven; or they who receive the 
loads of those who return; or who, in marshalled band, 
drive from the hives the drones, an inactive horde. The 
work goes on apace, and the honey smells rich of 

And as when the Cyclopes hasten to forge thunder- 
bolts from the ductile masses, some receive the air in 
bull-hide bellows and give it forth again ; some dip the 
hissing brass in the trough : -^tna groans under the weight 
of the mounted ^ anvils : they alternating one with the other, 
raise their arms in concert and with giant strength, and 
turn the iron witli the griping pincers: just so, if we may 
compare small things with great, does the innate love of gain 
prompt the Cecropian bees,"* each in his proper function. 
The older bees have the care of their cities, both to build 

^ Narcissus, a beautiful youth, who, on seeing his image reflected 
in a fountain, became enamoured of it, thinking it to be the nymph 
of the place. He died of grief, and was changed into a flower, which 
still bears his name. Narcissus' tears, i.e. the honey juice. 

^ Bees attach their combs to the roof of the hive, and then build 

^ " Mounted," i.e. placed on their blocks. 

^ That is, Attic or Athenian bees, from Cecrops, the founder and fust 
king of Athens. Mount Hymettus, in Attica, was famed for its thyme. 

128 GEORGICS. [Book IV. 

the cells, and fashion their cunningly-wrought homes. But 
the younger return fatigued late at night, their thighs laden 
with thyme-honey ; they feed at large on arbutes and grey 
willows, on casia, and golden-hued crocus, on the gummy 
lime, and deep-coloured hyacinths. All have one rest from 
work, all one common labour ; in the morning they rush 
out of the gates : nowhere is there delay ; again, when the 
evening at length has warned them to return from the fields 
after feeding, then they seek their homes, and then refresh 
their bodies : a noise arises, and they hum about the 
borders and the entrance of their hives. Soon after, when 
they have composed themselves in their cells, silence reigns 
during the night, and well-earned sleep enfolds their weary 
limbs. Nor do they remove to a great distance from their 
abode when rain impends, or trust the sky when east winds 
approach ; but in safety supply themselves with water around 
their stations near the walls of their city, and attempt but 
short excursions; and often take up little stones, as unsteady 
vessels do ballast in a tossing sea ; with these they steady 
themselves through the unsubstantial vapour. 

You will marvel that this custom in particular has been 
adopted by the bees, that they neither indulge in conjugal 
intercourse, nor relax and effeminate their bodies in love, 
nor bring forth young with throes of travail. But they 
themselves gather their progeny with their mouths from 
leaves and fragrant herbs : they themselves provide a 
sovereign and tiny subjects, and repair and replenish their 
palaces and waxen realms. 

Often, too, in wandering among the flinty rocks, they tear 
their wings, and voluntarily yield up their lives under their 
burden : so powerful in them is the love of flowers, and so 
strong is their ambition to collect honey. Well, then, though 
the term of a short life awaits individual bees themselves — 
for not more than the seventh summer is passed by them — 
yet the race remains imperishable, and the fortune of the 

L. 179-232] GEORGICS. 129 

house abides unshaken, and grandsires of grandsires are 

Besides, not Egypt's self, nor great Lydia, nor the tribes 
of the Parthians, nor the Medes by Hydaspes' ^ banks, 
pay such homage to their chief; whilst he is safe, one 
spirit animates them all : when he is gone, they break the 
bond of union, and they themselves plunder and carry off 
the piled honey, and break up the network of their combs. 
He safeguards their labours : they look to him with respect 
and awe, and they all surround him with unanimous applause, 
and attend him in crowds, and often raise him on their 
shoulders, and expose their own bodies to the fight and 
seek a noble death by wounds. 

Some, judging from these indications, and led by these 
proofs of wisdom, have said that bees possess a portion of, 
or an emanation from, the Divine intelligence ; that the 
Deity pervades the whole earth, the realms of sea, and the 
depth of heaven ; that hence the flocks, the herds, men, and 
all the race of beasts mdividually derive at their birth the 
tender thread of life ; that, moreover, all things in dissolution 
return and are restored to that original source ; and that 
there is no place for death, but that they soar, still alive and 
conscious, each to count as a star, and mount to lofty heaven. 

If at any time you wisli to open their narrow home and 
uncover the honey hoarded in their storehouses, having first 
washed your body, foment your mouth with draughts of 
water, and with your hand thrust forward the persecuting 
smoke. Men twice collect the heavy produce ; there are 
two seasons for their harvest : as soon as the Pleiad Taygete''' 

^ Hydaspes, a river of the Punjaub, in India, now called Jelum. It 
rises in one of the Paropamisus range, which extends into Ancient 
Persia ; and so, as the Medes and Persians were closely associated, 
Virgil takes a liberty with geographical accuracy. 

- Taygete, a daughter of Atlas and Pleione, who became one of the 
Pleiades after death. 


I30 GEORGICS. [Book IV. 

has shown her kindly face to the earth, and has spurned 
with her foot the discarded streams of ocean ; or when she, 
flying before the star of the watery Pisces, descends from 
heaven into the wintry waters, with a saddened look. 
They are wrathful above measure ; and when provoked, 
instil venom with their stabs : fastening viciously on the 
flesh, they leave behind their invisible stings, and lay down 
their lives in the wound. 

If, however, you shall fear a severe winter, and wish to 
spare their future support, and have pity on their broken 
spirits and disabled state, yet who will hesitate to fumigate 
their hives with thyme, and remove the empty wax ? for 
often the combs are eaten away by the undetected lizard, 
and by cellsful of cockroaches that shun the light, and by 
the unprofitable drone which "coolly" eats another's food; or 
the fierce hornet has rushed upon their ill-matched weapons ; 
or the moths, a horrid crew ; or the spider, hateful to 
Minerva, has suspended her loose nets in the doorways. 
The more exhausted they shall be, the more vigorously 
will they all set themselves to repair the ruins of their fallen 
fortunes, to fill up the rows of combs, and construct their 
cells with pollen. 

If, however, since life has on bees too entailed our 
misfortunes, their bodies shall languish with a sore 
disease, — which you may know by undoubted signs, — im- 
mediately the sick change colour ; ghastly leanness alters 
their appearance ; then they carry the bodies of the dead 
out of their houses, and conduct the mournful funerals; 
or clinging together by the feet, hang about the entrance, 
and stay within the closed hive, all being both spiritless 
from want of food, and benumbed with pinching cold. 
Then a dullish noise is heard, and they hum continuously ; 
as at times the south wind murmurs through the woods ; as 
the troubled sea resounds under the retreating waves ; as 
the quick-burning fuel roars in closed retorts. In this case, 

L. 233-290] GEORGICS. 1 3 1 

now, I would advise you to burn odoriferous galbanum, and 
to put honey into their troughs, through pipes of reed, en- 
couraging and coaxing them, weakened as they are, to their 
favourite food. It will be of service also to mix with it the 
flavour of pounded gall-nuts and dried roses, or must boiled 
down over a slow fire, or raisins from the Psithian vine, 
Cecropian thyme, and strong-smelling centaury. There is 
also in the meadows a flower, to which the husbandmen 
have given the name of amellus ; an herb easy to be found ; 
for from one tangled root it shoots a forest of stalks, the 
central disk of golden hue ; but on the leaves, which spring 
forth thickly around, the purple of the dark violet shows 
slightly. The altars of the gods are often decked with fes- 
toons made from it. Its taste is bitter in the mouth ; the 
shepherds gather it in valleys that have been grazed on, and 
near the winding streams of Mella.^ Boil the roots of it in 
high-flavoured wine ; and place it in full baskets at the door, 
as food for them. 

But if any one shall have suddenly lost his whole stock, 
and shall have no means to recover a new brood, it is time 
both to lay before you the memorable invention of the 
Arcadian shepherd, and how the putrid gore of bullocks 
slain has often heretofore produced bees : I will unfold the 
whole story, tracing it far back from its original source. 
For where the favoured people of the Pellaean Canopus - 
dwell hard by the Nile, which expands into a lake with its 
overflowing stream, and are carried round their fields in 
painted canoes ; and where a contiguous territory of quiver- 
armed Parthia '-^ adjoins [the Egyptian country] and the 

^ Mella, a small river of Cisalpine Gaul, falling into the Ollius, and 
with it into the Po. 

^ Canopus (near Aboukir), a city of Egypt, 12 miles east from Ale.x- 
andria. It is here called Pellwan, in allusion to the conquest of the 
country by Alexander the Great, who was born at Pella. 

^ The Parthian empire is often spoken of as Persia, as it is in the text. 

132 GEORGICS. [Book IV. 

river borne down from the swarthy Indians {i.e. Ethiopians) 
fertiUses verdant Egypt with its black and unctuous mould, 
and as it rushes on, separates into seven distinct mouths, the 
entire region confidently alleges that there is a never-failing 
safeguard in this plan. First, a space of ground of small 
dimensions, and narrowed for this purpose, is chosen ; this 
they cover in with the tiling of a narrow roof and with con- 
fining walls ; and add four openings with a slanting light 
turned towards the four points of the compass. Then a 
bullock, just arching his horns on his forehead of two years 
old, is sought out : whilst he struggles fiercely, they close 
up both his nostrils and his mouth ; and when they have 
beaten him to death, his battered carcase is macerated 
within the hide which remains unbroken. Then they leave 
him in the pent-up chamber, and lay under his sides frag- 
ments of boughs, thyme, and fresh casia. This is done 
when first the zephyrs stir the waves, before the meadows 
blush with new colours, before the twittering swallow sus- 
pends her nest upon the rafters. Meanwhile, the animal 
juices, warmed in the softened bones, ferment : and living 
things of wonderful aspect, first devoid of feet, and in a 
little while buzzing with wings, swarm together, and more 
and more take to the thin air, till they burst away like a 
shower poured down from summer clouds ; or like an arrow 
from the impelling string, when the swift Parthians first 
begin the fight. 

What god, ye Muses, what god devised for us this art ? 
whence took this new invention of men its rise ? 

The shepherd Aristseus,^ hastening from Peneian Tempe,^ 

^ Aristseus was the son of Apollo and Cyrene. He became enam- 
oured of Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus. He was the first who taught 
mankind the culture of olives, and the management of bees ; after death 
he was worshipped as a god. 

- Peneian Tempe, a celebrated vale in Thessaly, between IMount 
Olympus and Ossa, through which the river Peneus flows into the 

L. 291-346] GEORGICS. 133 

after losing his bees, as it is said, by disease and want of 
food, stopped, sad of heart, at the far distant and sacred 
source of the river, and with many complainings addressed 
his mother as follows : Mother, mother Cyrene, who in- 
habit the depths of this fountain, why did you brino- me 
forth, with evil destiny, from the illustrious race of the gods, 
if indeed, as you allege, Thymbrsean Apollo is my sire? 
or whither has your love for me fled ? why did you bid me 
hope for heaven ? Lo, I, though you are my mother, am 
abandoning this present crown of my mortality, which a 
watchful care of flocks and of crops had wrought out for me 
after many trials. But come, with your own hands uproot 
my fruit-bearing trees, fling the destructive fire into my 
stalls, and destroy my harvest : blast my nurseries, and wield 
the strong axe against my vines, if such disgust at my 
success has possessed you. 

But his mother heard the sound down below in the 
chamber of the deep river : her nymphs around her were 
spinning the Milesian fleeces, dyed with rich glass-green 
tincture, Drymo ^ and Xantho, Ligea and Phyllodoce, their 
hair trim and glossy, flowing over snow-white necks; Nesaee 
and Spio, Thalia and Cymodoce, Cydippe and flaxen-haired 
Lycorias, the one a virgin, the other having just experienced 
the first labours of Lucina ; Clio and her sister Beroe, both 
daughters of Oceanus, both decked with gold, both in 
spotted skins arrayed ; Ephyre and Opis, and Asian 
Deiopeia; and swift Arethusa, her darts being at length laid 
aside: among whom Clymene was relating Vulcan's watchful 
jealousy, and the wiles and sweet intrigues of Mars, and was 

/Egean. Thymbra, a plain in Troas, through which the river Thym- 
brius flowed in its course to the Scamander. Apollo had there a 
temple, and thence he is called Tliymbm:an. 

^ Drymo, &c. These were sea-nymphs, the attendants of Cyrene, 
daughter of the river Peneus, who was carried by Apollo to that part of 
Africa which was called Cyrenaica. There she became the mother of 

1 34 GEORGICS. [Book iv, 

recounting the many amours of the gods, down from 
Chaos. Whilst the nymphs, charmed with the song, unroll 
their woolly tasks from the spindles, the lamentations of 
Aristseus again struck his mother's ears, and all were amazed 
on their crystal seats : but Arethusa, looking forth before her 
other sisters put out her golden head from the water; and 
from afar she cried, O sister Cyrene, not in vain alarmed by 
such piteous wailing, your own darling Arist^eus is standing 
in distress and tears beside the waters of Father Peneus, 
and naming you, calls you hard-hearted. To her, mother 
Cyrene, her soul thrilled with strange dread, cries, come 
bring him, bring him quickly to me : to him it is per- 
mitted to touch the courts of the gods. At the same time 
she commands the deep river streams to divide on all sides 
from the place where the youth was to approach. And the 
water, curving like a mountain side, stood round about him, 
and received him into its ample bosom, and wafted him be- 
neath the river. And now, admiring his mother's palace and 
humid realms, the lakes pent up in caverns, and the sound- 
ing groves, he passed along, and, amazed at the vast flow of 
waters, surveyed all the rivers gliding under the great earth, 
widely distant in locality : Phasis ^ and Lycus, and the 
source whence deep Enipeus first bursts forth, whence 
father Tiberinus, and whence Anio's ^ streams, and 
Hypanis ^ thundering o'er the rocks, and Mysian Caicus, 
and Eridanus, his bull-front decked with gilded horns, than 
which no river rushes through the fertile fields with greater 
force into the dark blue sea. 

After he had arrived under the roof of her chamber, 

^ Phasis (Phaz or Rioni), a river of Colchis, rising in Mount Cauca- 
sus, and falling into the Euxine. Lycus, a river of Armenia. Enipeus, 
a river of Thessaly, falling into the Peneus. 

- Anio (Teverone), a river of Italy, which falls into the Tiber. 

^ Hypanis (Bug), a river of European Scythia, which runs into the 
Euxine. Caicus, a river of Mysia, falling into the ^-Egean. 

L.347-400.] GEORGICS. 1 35 

formed of pendent pumice-stones, and Cyrene found that 
the causes of her son's lamentations were trifling, the sisters 
in due course present fresh-water for his hands, and bring 
towels with close cut pile. Some load the board with 
viands, and put down full cups. The altars burn with 
incense fires. Then mother Cyrene thus speaks : Take 
bowls of Maeonian wine, let us offer a libation to Ocean. 
At the same time she herself addresses Ocean, the parent 
of all things, and the sister nymphs, a hundred of whom 
guard the woods, a hundred the rivers. Thrice she sprinkled 
the blazing Vesta with the pure wine : thrice the flame, 
mounting to the top of the roof, flashed again : with which 
omen encouraging his mind, she thus begins : In Neptune's 
Carpathian gulf there dwells a seer, ccerulean Proteus, ^ who 
traverses the great sea drawn by fishes, and riding in a 
chariot with two-legged steeds, He now is revisiting the 
ports of Emathia and his native Pallene :- him both we 
nymphs adore, and even old Nereus^ himself; for the 
prophet knows all things, both those that are and those that 
have been, and those that are coming on in slow futurity. 
For such is the will of Neptune ; whose monster-herds and 
ugly seals he feeds under the deep. He, my son, must 
first be caught by you with chains, that he may explain the 
Avhole cause of the disease, and make the issue prosperous. 
For no instructions will he give without compulsion, nor 
can you move him by entreaty ; when you have caught him 
employ brute-force, and tighten fast his bonds ; by these 

^ Proteus, a sea-deity, son of Oceanusand Tethys. He is represented 
liy the poets as usually residing in the Carpathian Sea, between Crete and 
Rhodes. He possessed the gift of prophecy, and also the power of as- 
suming different shapes. He was represented as drawn by hipjiopotami, 
whose front part resembled a horse, and their hinder a fish ; hence they 
are called "two-legged steeds." 

" Pallene, a small peninsula of Macedonia, on the yEgean Sea. 

^ Nereus, a sea-god, son of Occanus and Terra, and husband of Doris, 
by whom he had fifty daughters, the Nereids. 

1 36 GEORGICS. [Book iv. 

means all his wiles will at length be baffled and rendered 
unavailing. As soon as the sun has kindled the blaze of 
noon, when the herbs are parched, and the shade becomes 
more grateful to the cattle, I myself will conduct you into 
the private abode of the aged god, whither he retires from 
the waves when fatigued, that you may easily assail him 
while lying asleep. But when, having seized him, you shall 
hold him fast with your arms and chains, then various forms 
and features of wild beasts will parry your efforts. For 
suddenly he will become a bristly boar, a savage tigress, a 
scaly dragon, and a lioness with tawny neck ; or he will turn 
himself into a blazing fire, and then slip from your bonds ; 
or he will vanish into thin water and escape. But the 
more he shall change himself into all shapes, do you, my 
son, still closer pull hard the griping chain, until, with altered 
form, he shall become the same as when you saw him close 
his eyes in early sleep. 

So she speaks ; and sheds all around the streaming scent 
of sweet ambrosia, with which she overspread the body 
of her son. Now from his well-trimmed hair a delicious 
fragrance breathed, and sprightly vigour came upon his 
limbs. In the side of a hollowed mountain there is a 
spacious cave, into which many a wave is driven by 
the wind, and divides itself into receding curves ; at 
times a most secure anchorage for sailors overtaken by a 
storm. Within, Proteus hides himself behind the barrier of 
a huge rock. Here the nymph places the youth in con- 
cealment, so that the light may not strike upon him ; she 
herself, hid in mist, remains hard by. Now the scorching 
dog-star, roasting the parched Indians, was blazing in the sky, 
and the sun like a ball of fire had finished half his course ; 
the grass was parched; and the rays warmed the shallow^ 

^ Shallow, literally hollow, suggesting that the water is no longer up 
to the banks, but that the upper part being evaporated, there remains 
only an empty hollow where the water had been. 

L. 401-450] GEORGICS. 137 

streams to the mud, and made them boil in their dried- 
up channels, when Proteus went forth from the waves, 
making for his grotto. The watery race of the vast 
ocean, gambolling around him, scatter the briny spray far 
and near. The sea-calves lay themselves down to sleep 
here and there along the shore. He himself takes his seat 
in a central position on a rock and counts again their 
numbers, just as at times a shepherd does in the mountains, 
when evening brings home the bullocks from the pasture, 
and the lambs with noisy bleatings whet the hunger of the 
wolves. And when a favourable opportunity of seizing him 
presented itself to Aristseus, he scarcely suffers the aged god 
to lay his weary limbs to rest, but rushes upon him with 
a great shout, and anticipating him, secures him with 
shackles as he lies. He, on the other hand, not forgetful 
of his wiles, transforms himself into all extraordinary sorts of 
things : fire, and a frightful wild beast, and a flowing river. 
But when no tricky device could find him a means of escape, 
being baffled, he returns to his former self, and at last spoke 
with the voice of a man : For who, pray, desired you, most 
presumptuous of youths, to come to my abode ? or what do 
you want from me ? says he. But he replied. You know it, 
O Proteus, you know it of yourself; nor is it possible to 
deceive you in anything : but do you cease to tr)' to deceive 
me. Following the advice of the deities, I have come to 
seek from you divine counsel in regard to my ruined affairs. 
Thus much he spoke. Upon this the seer, at length under 
the powerful influence of inspiration,^ rolled his eyes, 

1 When the influence of deity was beginning to inspire the seer, it 
showed itself by strange excitement, convulsive spasms, and similar 
tokens. Some interpret magna vi "with great violence"; as if the 
flashing of the eyes and the gnashing of the teeth indicated great passion, 
a rather undignified attitude for a sage old deity, who begins very quietly. 
It may mean " under great compulsion," as Arist^us had used so much 

138 GEORGICS. [Book IV. 

flashing with azure hght, and gnashing his teeth fiercely, 
opened his mouth to disclose the oracles. 

It is the vengeance of no insignificant deity that 
pursues you : you are paying the penalty of grievous 
sins. Orpheus, wretched to a degree which he by no 
means merited, is instigating this vengeance on you, did 
not your destiny oppose it, and is grievously enraged for 
his wife being torn from him. She, indeed, poor girl, soon 
to die, when escaping from you in headlong flight along the 
river's side, did not see before her feet a huge water-serpent, 
" keeping close " on the bank in the deep grass. But the 
whole company of her comrade Dryads fiUed the summits 
of the mountains with their shrieks of woe : the heights of 
Rhodope wept, and the lofty Pangaea,^ and the martial land 
of Rhesus. Orpheus himself, soothing the anguish of his 
love with his concave shell, sang of you, sweet spouse, of 
you on the lonely shore at the dawn of day, of you at 
the day's decline. He, entering even the jaws of Tsenarus, 
Pluto's lofty 2 gate, and the grove darkling with gloomy 
horror, visited the Manes, and their dreaded king, and those 
hearts that know not to relent at human prayers. But the 
airy shades and phantoms of the dead, moved by his song, 
came crowding forth from depths of Erebus,^' as numerous 
as the birds that hide themselves by thousands in the woods, 
when evening or a wintry storm drives them from the 
mountains ; matrons, and men, and ghosts of gallant heroes 
gone, boys and unmarried girls, and striplings laid on 
funeral piles before their parents' eyes ; whom the black 
mud and unsightly reeds of Cocytus, and the unlovely lake 

^ Pangceus, or Pangjea, a mountain on the confines of Macedonia and 
Thrace. Land of Rhesus, i.e. Thrace. 

"^ This may apply to the height of the rocks at the entrance of the 
cave, or to the depth of the passage downwards. 

3 Erebus, a god of hell ; often used to signify hell itself. Cerberus, 
a dog with three heads, that watched the entrance into the infernal 

L. 451-509] GEORGICS. 139 

with the sluggish flood, confine, and Styx encircles with a 
ninefold stream. The very habitations and inmost dun- 
geons of death were astonished, and the Furies too, their 
hair with azure snakes entwined, and Cerberus in act of 
yawning, held fast his triple mouth, and by the lulling of 
the wind, the circle of Ixion's wheel stood still. And now 
retracing his steps, he had escaped all mishaps, and Eury- 
dice, restored to him, was just approaching the regions 
above, following behind him, for Proserpine had imposed 
this condition, when a sudden infatuation seized the unwary 
lover, pardonable indeed, if the Manes knew how to pardon : 
he stopped, and on the very verge of light, forgetful, 
alas ! and not master of himself, he looked back on his 
Eurydice : in that act, all his toil was thrown to the winds, 
and the terms of the relentless tyrant broken ; and thrice a 
crash as of thunder was heard from the Avernian lake. 
Orpheus, she says, what foolish fondness, what powerful 
infatuation, has ruined both me, wretched, and you too ? 
See once more the relentless Fates call me back, and sleep 
closes my swimming eyes. And now farewell ; I, alas ! no 
longer yours, am borne away, encompassed with pitchy 
darkness, and stretching forth to you my hands, now 
powerless. She ceased to speak ; and suddenly fled from his 
sight in the opposite direction, as it were smoke blended 
with the unsubstantial air ; nor afterwards did she see him 
vainly grasping at the shades, and wishing to say many 
things ; nor did the ferryman of Orcus suffer him again to 
cross the intervening lake. What was he to do ? whither 
was he to turn himself, now that his love had twice been 
torn from him ? with what tears was he to move the Manes, 
with what words tlie nether gods ? She indeed, already 
cold in death, was now floating in the Stygian boat. For 
seven whole months in succession, they say, he mourned 
beneath a weather-beaten rock by the streams of lonely 
Strymon, and unfolded these his woes under the cold caves, 

I40 GEORGICS. [Book iv. 

softening the very tigers, and leading the oaks after him by 
his song : as the sorrowing nightingale, under cover of a 
poplar, bemoans her lost young, which some unfeeling 
ploughman noticing in the nest has stolen unfledged ; but 
she laments the livelong night, and, perched upon a bough, 
renews again and again her doleful notes, and far and near 
fills every region with her mournful plaints. No love 
passion, no hymeneal joys could alter his resolve. Alone 
he traversed the northern fields of ice, the snowy Tanais, 
and the plains never free from Rhiptean frosts, deploring 
the loss of his Eurydice, and Pluto's fruitless gifts ; by which 
tribute of affection ^ the Ciconian women feeling themselves 
slighted, tore the youth in pieces amidst the sacred service 
of the gods and nocturnal orgies of Bacchus, and scattered 
his limbs far and wide over the fields. And even then, 
whilst ffiagrian Hebrus, bearing on its surface his head, 
wrung from a neck like marble, was carrying it down in 
middle stream, the lifeless voice itself, and tongue now 
cold, with latest breath called " Eurydice, ah, poor Eury- 
dice " : the banks re-echoed Eurydice all down the river. 
Thus Proteus sang, and plunged with a bound into the 
deep sea ; and where he plunged, he tossed up the foaming 
water under the seething eddy. 

But not so Cyrene : for, unasked, she addressed Aristaeus 
in a state of awe : My son, you may ease your mind of 
vexatious cares. This is the whole cause of the plague ; on 
account of this the nymphs, whose choral dances she shared 
in the deep groves, have sent this melancholy annihilation 
on your bees ; but, penitent for your fault, present offerings 
and ask reconciliation, and worship the easily appeased 
nymphs of the wood, for they will pardon you in answer to 
your prayer, and will forego their anger. But first will I 

^ Mnnere seems to mean here " duty to the dead." It is frequently 
used to signify the last service to the dead, burial and accompanying 


L. 510-563] GEORGICS. 141 

show you in order what must be your manner of worship. 
Pick out four bulls, conspicuous for beauty of form, which 
are now grazing, at your service, on the heights of green 
Lycaeus ; and as many heifers, whose necks have not felt 
the yoke. For these erect four altars beside the lofty 
temples of the goddesses : draw the sacred blood from their 
throats, and leave the carcases of the oxen in the leafy grove. 
Afterwards, when the ninth morn has shown her rising 
beams, you will give Lethasan poppies as "funeral offerings 
to Orpheus, and you will sacrifice a black ewe, and revisit 
the grove. You will worship and appease Eurydice by a 
heifer offered in sacrifice. 

He delays not, but instantly executes the orders of his 
mother : he repairs to the temple ; he raises the altars as 
directed ; he leads forward four bulls, conspicuous for 
beauty of form, and as many heifers, whose necks never 
felt the yoke. Thereafter, when the ninth morning had 
ushered in her dawn, he presents the funeral offerings to 
Orpheus, and revisits the grove. But here they behold a 
prodigy unexpected, and wonderful to tell : bees humming 
through the macerated flesh of the oxen over the entire 
length of the belly, and bursting forth from the riven sides, 
and floating aloft in enormous clouds, and now swarming 
together on the top of a tree, and hanging down in a grape- 
like cluster from the bending boughs. 

These poems about the culture of the fields, and the 
treatment of flocks and of trees, I was engaged in compos- 
ing whilst great Caesar is thundering in war by the deep 
Euphrates, and as a conqueror is administering justice 
among willing nations, and is treading the road to Olympus. 
At that time the charming Parthenope^ was nursing me, 

1 Parthenope, the modern Naples. It received the name of Parlhe- 
nope from one of the Sirens who was buried there. 

142 GEORGICS. [Book iv. 

Virgil, luxuriating in the occupations of a fameless leisure ; 
me, who to amuse myself wrote songs of shepherds, and 
being bold through youth, I sang of you, O Tityrus, beneath 
the covert of a spreading beech. 



The yEneid is an Epic Poem in twelve Books, having for its 
subject the fate of ^neas, the founder of a second IHum, and 
indirectly of Rome, and the ancestor of the Julian family. It is 
said to have occupied ten years of the poet's life, from probably 
29 B.C. to 19 B.C., but at his death it was still incomplete. Virgil 
seems to have conceived at an early date the idea of writing an 
Epic Poem, as his expressions in Eel. VI. 3, VIII. 7, and Geo. 
III. 46 show. It is probable that at first the design was to sing 
the praises of Octavianus (Augustus), but it was afterwards 
extended so as to include the legendary origin and much of the 
actual history of the Roman people. There does not seem to 
be any authority for the statement that the work was begun by 
the command of Augustus ; but no doubt the Emperor, with 
whom Virgil was a favourite, would encourage him in the com- 
position of a great poem which might rival the Iliad of Homer, 
and shed lustre on Rome and her Ruler. The fame which the 
poet had gained by the publication of the Eclogues and Georgics 
would naturally lead his friends and admirers to entertain the 
highest expectations of a more ambitious effort on a theme 
giving fuller scope for his poetic fancy, and would justify them 
in urging him to undertake such a task. 

It has been already said in the Introduction to the Eclogues 
that it was considered a merit rather than otherwise to imitate 
or even copy from the great writers of Greece. We have 
seen that Theocritus was Virgil's model for the Bucolics, and 
Hesiod for the Georgics. .So now we find that Homer is the 



great source from which he derives his ideas and his materials. 
Thus the romantic adventures of ^neas in his wanderings by 
land and sea are the counterpart of those of Ulysses in the 
Odyssey ; and the war with Turnus after his arrival in Italy owes 
its grandeur and its thrilling interest to the Iliad, and the battles 
there described. The great outlines and prominent features of 
the Iliad and the ALnt'id are largely similar. As in the Iliad 
the wrath of Achilles was to the Greeks the "direful spring of 
woes unnumbered," so in the ^neid was the " never dying 
enmity" of Juno to the Trojans. In the Odyssey, again, Ulysses 
pays a visit to the infernal regions, and in the ^neid a similar 
journey is performed by ^neas, under the guidance of the Sibyl, 
to hold converse with his father and learn the fortunes and the 
fate of his posterity. Besides these, there are very many minor 
imitations, such as the description of the shield of Achilles made 
by Vulcan, and that of ^neas by the same master-hand. The 
storm in Book V. of the Odyssey is reproduced with variations 
in Book I. of the ^neid : the adventure of Ulysses with the 
Cyclops Polyphemus suggests that of JEneas with the same 
cruel monster. Many of the most splendid passages in the 
^neid are borrowed closely from Homer, as also the finest 
similes, images, and epithets. But it is beyond the purpose of 
this brief notice to enlarge on these. Virgil has likewise drawn 
freely from the Greek Tragedians, from Apollonius Rhodius, 
and from the Cyclic poets, who described the return of the 
Grecian Chiefs from Troy and their after fortunes. 

While using the materials which these earlier authors supplied, 
Virgil has shown consummate skill in the arrangement of 
incidents, and has added a charm to them by the beauty of the 
language in which he reproduces them to his countrymen, and 
by the polish and the rhythmical perfection of his verses. The 
episodes which he introduces are of that exquisite kind which 
have been already seen in the Georgics. What sweeter speci- 
men of tender pathos can there be than the story of Camilla ? 
or that of Nisus and Euryalus? or where can we find more 
powerfully portrayed than in the character of Dido the furious 
passion of disappointed love, conjoined with the unselfish fond- 
ness of woman and the noble generosity of a queen ? And who 


can read unmoved the deeply touching meeting of ^neas and 
Andromache? the death of King Priam? the untimely fate 
of Pallas, and the overwhelming sorrow of his aged father ? 
And who can withhold a sigh or even a tear from the savage 
Mezentius, who with the ferocity of a wild beast united that 
instinct of nature which kindled in his heart the warmest affec- 
tion for his son ? 

The character of ^neas, the hero of the poem, has been 
spoken of by some critics as disappointing. They allow that 
though he possesses many virtues, and is the embodiment of 
filial devotion and general goodness, yet he does not command 
that admiration which a Hector, an Achilles, or a Diomede calls 
forth : that though he is brave and patient, submissive to the 
will of heaven, to which he refers all his troubles in perfect 
faith, yet he is selfish, mean, unmanly, and heartless. Our ideas 
derived from the author of the Iliad are somewhat to blame for 
this unjust estimate. The scenes in which Homer makes 
JEneas figure do not certainly represent him as a first-class 
hero, but that should not affect our opinion of his appearances 
in Virgil. The Homeric heroes were cast in an old and an 
essentially different mould from that of the Virgilian and newer 
one, and what was deemed justifiable in the one is not approved 
of in the other. Thus the conduct of yEneas to Dido differs 
little from that of Ulysses to Calypso, and yet the latter is ex- 
cused and the former is blamed. In Homer the goddess is 
ordered to let Ulysses go, while in Virgil Dido receives no 
such divine command, and thus the whole odium is thrown on 
ALnesLS, who is obliged not only to justify himself for departing, 
but also to explain the imperative orders of the gods. Such 
desertions of females were by no means uncommon in the heroic 
age, and it is only the intense interest which Virgil himself has 
excited in the forsaken queen that leads us to judge y^neas by 
a severer standard. From Homer Dido would have probably 
received little pily. 

Virgil has perhaps given to ^Encas too much of his own 
nature — has made him too soft-hearted, too prone to tears, too 
accessible to noble feelings, and requiring too much to be 
pushed on by a god or a fellow- mortal. ALncas, as the destined 


progenitor of a noble race, is not made to run such risks as 
Ulysses freely ran, and thus the ^Eneid is deficient in those 
thrilling incidents which impart so much life and so much interest 
to the Iliad and the Odyssey. Homer possessed ample stores of 
national tradition on which to draw abundantly, but of these 
Virgil was almost entirely destitute, and so was thrown back on 
his own reflection and his own inventive genius. Virgil's per- 
ception of the defects of his great poem is the best proof that 
he considered it only a rough draft. Death unfortunately pre- 
vented its thorough revisal, and perhaps its entire recasting; 
but when the rough draft has been found so beautiful, what 
might not the poem have been made after the contemplated 
polish of three long years, to be spent amid the scenery and 
the other associations of the story of the ^neid ? Virgil's 
attitude towards his own work largely disarms criticism, 
and takes the sting out of many ill-natured and unfair remarks 
of commentators. 

To Virgil, notwithstanding all his indebtedness to Homer 
and other poets, we must ascribe a prolific genius and an extra- 
ordinary power of amplification. And this must necessarily be 
the case since the poet's great aim was to exalt the Roman 
people and state, and the Julian family, and to introduce into 
his Epic notices, more or less extended, of all the most glorious 
events and noble characters in his country's history. For this 
task he was particularly well fitted, from his great study of 
the older writers and his warm admiration of the ancient forms 
and morals of the "good old times." We see this reverence for 
what was national and old in his archaism, whether in reference 
to manners and customs, to religious ceremonial and priestly 
functions, to archaeology, to matter of antiquarian curiosity, or 
to obsolete forms of words and disused expressions. 

Throughout the /Eneid, as in the Eclogues and Georgics, 
Virgil gives abundant proof of his warm sympathy with nature, 
and with all that is beautiful, gentle, and refined, as we might 
expect from him who conceived and drew the character of the 
" Pious ^neas." In poetic art he surpassed all Roman poets ; 
and whether we regard the truthfulness of his pictorial descrip- 
tions, the dignified majesty of his language, or the polish and 


easy flow of his hexameters, we are bound to pronounce him to 
be, as a poet, ^r/^niis inter pri)nores, and to regard the ^neid, 
with all its faults and shortcomings, as the most pleasing of Latin 
poems. No other work of antiquity has been more generally 
read ; none has delighted more human hearts ; and none has 
had a greater influence for good on the literature of every 
country in the civilised world. 



In the First Book ^neas is introduced in the seventh year of his ex- 
pedition. Sailing from Sicily he is shipwrecked on the coast of 
Africa, where he is kindly received by Dido, queen of Carthage. The 
description of the storm in this book is particularly admired. 

I singi of arms, and of the man who, being driven from 
his country by the decrees of Fate, first came from the 
coasts of Troy to Italy, even to the Lavinian shore,^ much 
harassed both on sea and land by the violence of heaven, 
because of the unforgotten grudge of relentless Juno ; 
suffering much in war too, while he strove to found a city, 
and to establish his gods in Latium ; from him sprang the 
Latin race, the Alban fathers, and the walls of lofty Rome. 

Rehearse to me, O Muse, the causes, — for what insult to 
her divinity,'^ or by what act aggrieved, did the queen of 

1 Respecting the four verses usually prefixed to the ^neid, see 

2 Lavinium (Pratica), a city of Latium, built by /Eneas, and called 
by that name in honour of Lavinia, his wife. 

^ i.e., quo It II mi lie may mean what wish or purpose of Juno was 
frustrated, referring to her desire to make Carthage the " Mistress of 
the World," instead of Rome; "aggrieved by what" may point 
to the favour shown to Paris and Ganymede. 

152 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

heaven force a man noted for his goodness^ to pass through 
so many trials, to undergo so many hardships. Is it possible 
that such resentment can exist in the minds of deities ? 

There was in olden times a city, Carthage by name, 
occupied by settlers from Tyre, facing Italy and the mouth 
of the Tiber, though far away, rich in its resources, and 
devoted to the stern pursuits of war ; a city which Juno is 
said to have regarded with special favour more than all other 
lands, Samos even being second to it. 

Here were her arms ; here was her chariot ; it, even at 
that early day, she purposes to be the capital of the earth, 
and she cherishes it with that intent, if by any means 
the Fates permit. But she had heard that a race is being 
derived from Trojan blood which shall one day overturn the 
Tyrian towers : that a people of extended sway, and formid- 
able in war, should spring from it, to the ruin of Africa ; that 
this the wheel of Fate is bringing round. This the daughter 
of Saturn dreaded, and well remembered the long pro- 
tracted war which she, with special bitterness, had carried 
on at Troy in behalf of her beloved Argos ; for not even 
yet had the causes of her anger and her keen pangs of 
resentment faded from her recollection ; the judgment of 
Paris dwells deeply lodged in her mind, the affront offered 
to her slighted beauty, and the detested race, and the 
honours conferred on Ganymede,"-^ to heaven borne. 
Enraged to fury because of these things, she chased over 
the whole ocean those of the Trojans whom the Greeks and 
the merciless Achilles spared, and kept them far from 

^ " Fielas" properly means natural affection, as from a child to a 
parent or near relative, and so includes the performance of all duties 
to gods, parents, kinsmen, friends, and country. 

^ Ganymede, son of Tros, king of Troy, was fabled to have been 
taken up to heaven by Jupiter, where he became the cupbearer of the 
gods in place of Juno's daughter Hebe. 

io-5i] THE AENEID. 153 

Latium ; and thus, hounded by the fates, for many years they 
roamed round every sea. So hard it was to found the 
Roman State. 

Scarcely were the Trojans, clearing Sicily, fairly out to 
sea, and with their prows were joyously driving before them 
the briny foam, when Juno, nursing in her heart her 
never-dying wound, thus muttered to herself : To think of 
me abandoning my purpose as one baffled, and that I 
should not be able to divert from Italy this Prince of 
Troy ! I am forbidden by the fates, forsooth ! Was not 
Pallas Minerva able to burn the Grecian ships, and drown 
their crews in ocean, for the crime of one, and the mad 
passion of Ajax,^ O'ileus's son ? She, in person, hurling 
from the clouds Jove's swift lightning, both scattered their 
ships and upturned the sea with the winds : him, too, 
breathing flames from his pierced breast, she caught in a 
whirling eddy,- and impaled him on a pointed rock. But I, 
who walk in my majesty as the queen of the gods, — I, both 
the sister and the wife of Jupiter, am still carrying on war 
for so many years with a single nation ; and after that, can 
men worship Juno's deity any longer, and lay offerings on 
her altar-? 

The goddess, brooding over such thoughts in her 
excited breast, comes to yEolia,^ the native land of storms, 

^ A'}a.\, the son of Oileus, king of Locris, one of the Grecian chiefs 
in the Trojan war. lie was surnamed Locrian, to distinguish hina 
from Ajax, the son of Telamon. He had violated Cassandra, daughter 
of Priam, in the very temple of Minerva. 

-Some think that an eddy of wind (not water) is meant, caused by 
the force of the thunderbolt. 

'The /Eohan Islands, situated between Italy and Sicily, were seven 
in number. Here .Eolus, the son of Hippotas, reigned, reputed king 
of the winds, because, from a course of observations, he had acquired 
some knowledge of the weather, and was capableof foretelling at times 
what wind would blow for some days together, as we learn from Dio- 
dorus and Pliny. There is a physical reason for calling Aeolia the native 

154 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

regions full of boisterous blasts. Here, in a vast cave king 
^olus controls by tyrant sway the struggling winds and 
whistling tempests, and confines them in his prison bounds. 
They, impatient of restraint, range round their enclosure 
with loud rumblings of the mountain, ^olus is seated 
on a lofty throne, with a sceptre in his hand, and soothes 
their passions and moderates their fury. Did he not do so, 
no doubt they in headlong course would carry away with 
them the sea and the earth and the lofty heaven, and sweep 
them through the empty void. But almighty Jove, guard- 
ing against this, has pent them up in gloomy caves, and 
piled on them a mass of mountains, and appointed them a 
king, who, acting on established laws, should know both 
when to tighten and when to ease their reins. To him 
thus Juno, in entreating voice, addressed these words : 
^olus, for the father of gods and king of men has given 
you power both to smooth the waves and to raise them by 
the wind, a race detested by me is now sailing over the 
Tuscan Sea, carrying into Italy Ilium and its conquered 
gods. Put fury in the winds, capsize and sink their ships, 
or drive them far apart, and scatter their bodies on the deep. 
I have twice seven nymphs of surpassing beauty, the fairest 
of whom, Deiopeia, I will join to you in firm wedlock, and 
assign her to be your own for ever, that with you she may 
spend all her years for so great a service, and make you the 
father of a beautiful offspring. 

^olus in turn replies : 'Tis your part, O queen, to 
examine well what you would have done : it is my duty 
to execute your commands. It is you who have granted to 

land of storms. As one of them at least, (Stromboli, the " Lighthouse 
of the Mediterranean,") is always in a state of eruption, the strata of air 
in its neighbourhood are necessarily highly heated, and so the colder 
and heavier air of remote regions rushes in to displace the warmer and 
lighter air over the islands, and thus produces strong currents and 

S2-I03] THE AENEID. 155 

me whatever sovereignty I possess : )'ou have procured for 
me my sceptre and the favour of Jupiter : you have gained 
for me a seat at the table of the gods, and have made me 
lord over storm-clouds and tempests. 

Thus having spoken, he struck the vaulted mountain's 
side with his inverted spear, and the winds, as if with one 
accord, rush forth at every vent, and o'er the earth in 
hurricane they blow. They fall upon the ocean, and at 
once east and south, and south-west with his endless gusts, 
upheave the whole sea-plane from the lowest depths, and 
roll vast billows to the shores. There follows both the 
shouting of men and the creaking of cordage. All at 
once the clouds remove both heavens and daylight from 
the Trojans' eyes : black night broods upon the sea ; 
the thunder roars from pole to pole, and the sky is lit up 
with repeated flashes ; and all things threaten immediate 
death to the men. Forthwith Eneas' limbs are relaxed with 
chilling fear ; he groans, and, stretching his clasped hands to 
heaven, he thus exclaims : O thrice, aye four times 
happy they whose lot it was to die before their parents' 
eyes, under the high walls of Troy ! O you, bravest 
of the Grecian race, great Tydcus' ^ son, why was I not 
destined to fall on the Trojan plains, and pour out this life 
of mine by your right hand ? where fearless Hector lies pros- 
trate by the sword of Achilles ; where mighty Sarpedon - 
lies ; where Simois ^ rolls along so many shields, and 
helmets, and bodies of heroes drawn beneath its waters. 

While he is uttering these laments, a tempest-squall 
sent howling by the north wind strikes the sail right in 
front, and raises billows high as heaven ! The oars are 

^ Diomedes, the son of Tydeus and Dciphyle. 

- Sarpedon, a son of Jupiter by Euroi^a, and brother to Minos, went 
to the Trojan war to assist Priam, and was slain by Patroclus. 

' Simois, a river of Troas, which rose in Mount Ida, and fell into the 
Scamander below Troy. 

156 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

shattered : then the ship's head is turned round, and her 
broadside exposed to the storm. A broken-crested mountain- 
swell follows upon them in a mass. Some hang on the top 
of the billow ; to others the sea, gaping to its utmost depth, 
discloses the earth between the waves ; the surge boils madly 
with sand commingled. Three other ships the south wind 
carries away and hurls on hidden rocks ^ — rocks which are in 
the midst of the ocean, the Italians call Altars,— a vast reef 
rising almost to the surface of the water. The east wind drives 
three of them from the deep water on shoals and shifting 
banks, a piteous spectacle ! and dashing them on the shelves, 
surrounds them with mounds of sand. Before the eyes of 
^neas himself, a heavy sea, falling from on high, strikes the 
stern of the one which bore the Lycians,and faithful Orontes -.^ 
the pilot is thrown overboard and rolls headlong into the 
tide ; but the surf whirls her rapidly .round three times in the 
same spot, and the sweeping eddy engulfs her. Then are 
seen floating here and there on the vast abyss men, armour, 
planks, and Trojan treasures, all over the waters. Now 
the storm overpowered the stout vessel of Ilioneus,^ now 
that of brave Achates, and that in which Abas sailed, and 
that of old Aletes ; all receive the hostile flood in the loose 
joinings of their sides, and yawn with chinks. 

Meanwhile Neptune perceived with great alarm that the 
deep is being lashed into commotion with roaring loud, 
that a storm had been sent forth, and that the under 
waters had been upheaved from their lowest depths, and 
looking out over the waves he put forth his peace-bring- 

1 These rocks are said to be the i^grimoerse islands opposite the bay 
of Carthage. 

2 Orontes commanded the Lycian fleet, which, after the fall of Troy, 
accompanied ^Eneas in his voyage to Italy. 

3 Ilioneus, son of Phorbas, was distinguished for his eloquence. 
Achates, a friend of .Eneas, whose fidelity was so exemplary, that 
Fidus Achates became a proverb. 

104-152] THE AENEID. 1 57 

ing head. He sees the fleet of ^neas scattered over 
the ocean, the Trojans overpowered by the billows, and 
the downfall of the sky; nor were the wiles and the 
hates of Juno unknown to her brother. He calls to him 
the east and the west winds, and then thus addresses 
them : And do you thus presume upon your semi-divine 
origin? dare you, winds, without my sovereign leave, 
to embroil heaven and earth, and raise such mountains ? 

Whom I ^ But first it is right to lay the troubled billows. 

Another time you shall pay the penalty of your fault by a 
very different punishment. Speed your flight, and bear 
this message to your king : That not to him but to me have 
been allotted the empire of the sea and the dreaded trident. 
He holds those unsightly rocks, your proper abode, Eurus : 
in that palace let him glory, and lord it as a sovereign in the 
pent-up prison of the winds. 

So he speaks ; and, sooner than said, he calms the swollen 
seas, and disperses the collected clouds, and brings back 
the day. AVith him Cymothoe - and Triton with straining 
effort shove off the ships from the pointed rock ; he himself 
raises them with his trident ; makes channels in the vast 
sands, and smoothes the sea ; and in his light chariot skims 
over the surface of the waves. And as when a civil broil 
has, as often happens, arisen in a crowded concourse of 
people, and the minds of the ignoble rabble are in wild 
excitement ; now firebrands, now stones fly — fury supplies 
them with weapons — : if then, by chance, they espy a man 
loved for his reverence of the gods and his good deeds, 
they are hushed and stand riveted with ears erect ; he by 

^ This airoindnv7}(Tis, or sudden break in speaking, is a very remark- 
able one, and is often referred to by grammarians. 

- Cymothoe, one of the Nereids. Triton, a powerful sea-deity, son 
of Neptune and Amphitrite. Many of the sea-gods were called Tritons, 
but the name was generally applied to those only who were represented 
as half man and half tish. 

158 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

his words rules their passions, and soothes their minds. 
Thus all the raging tumult of the ocean subsided as soon as 
father Neptune, surveying the seas, and wafted through the 
open sky, guides his steeds, and in rapid flight gives reins 
to his smoothly running chariot. 

The weary Trojans hasten to make for the nearest shores, 
and head towards the coast of Libya. In a deep retiring bay 
there is a place of shelter ; an island forms a harbour 
by its projecting sides, against which every wave from the 
ocean is broken up, and so retreats into the recesses 
of the loch. On either side huge rocks and twin-like 
cliffs rise towering towards heaven, sheltered by whose 
summits the seas are calm and still to a great distance 
round. Moreover, there is above a back-ground view of 
light-flashing woods, and a dark grove overhangs, with an 
awe-inspiring gloom. Beneath the brow of the cliffs, and 
facing those entering and sailing up the bay, there is a 
grotto formed of pendent rocks, within which is a spring 
of sweet water and seats of natural stone — the home of 
the nymphs. No cable, no anchor with its bitmg fluke, 
moors the weather-beaten craft. To this retreat ^neas 
brings seven ships, collected from all his fleet ; and the 
Trojans, longing much for land, disembark and occupy 
the wished-for shore, and stretch upon the beach their 
bodies, dripping with brine. Then first Achates struck 
a spark from a flint, and received the fire in leaves, and 
round it applied dry nutriment, and quickly raised a blaze 
in the fuel. Then weary of their misfortunes, they bring 
forth their grain, damaged by the water, and the im- 
plements of Ceres ; and prepare to roast and to grind the 
corn which had been saved from the sea. Meanwhile 
^neas scales a rock, and scans the deep all round, to 
try if anywhere he can discover Antheus tossed by the wind, 
and the Phrygian galleys, or Capys,^ or the arms of Caicus, 

1 Capys. This brave Trojan was one of those who, against the 

I53-200] THE AENEID. 1 59 

on the lofty stern. He sights no ship, but he sees three 
stags straying on the shore : behind these the whole herd 
follow, and feed through the valley in a long-extended line. 
Upon this he stopped short, and snatching his bow and 
swift arrows, the weapons which faithful Achates bore, first 
he prostrates the leaders, carrying high their heads with 
branching horns ; next the general herd ; and as he shoots, 
he drives them all in wild confusion through the leafy 
woods. Nor does he desist till he succeeds in bringing 
down seven huge deer, and provides one carcase for each 
ship. Then he makes for the landing-place, and shares the 
booty with all his companions. Thereafter he divides the 
wine which the generous Acestes ^ had stowed away for 
them in jars in Sicily, and had given them when they left, 
and with these words he cheers their sorrowing hearts : 
O companions, O you who have borne severer ills than 
these, — for we are not strangers to former days of adversity, 
— to these, too, the Deity will grant a termination. You have 
risked both Scylla's fury, and those rocks roaring far within ; 
you have had experience of the crags of the Cyclopes; 
pluck up, then, your courage, and away with dismal fears. 
Perhaps you will take pleasure some day in remembering even 
these trials. Through various disasters, through so many criti- 
cal dangers, we are making for Latium, where the Fates hold 
out the hope of peaceful settlements. There it is heaven's 
will that the Trojan kingdom should rise again. Hold out, 
and cheer your minds for prosperous days. So speaks he, 
and sick at heart with overpowering cares, he assumes a 
hopeful look, and in Ins bosom crushes down his deep 
and bitter anguish. 

advice of Thymcetes, wished to destroy the wooden horse, which proved 
the destruction of Troy. 

^ Acestes, a king of Sicily, who assisted Priam in the Trojan war, 
and who afterwards kindly entertained /I-^neas \\ hen he landed on his 

l6o THE AENEID. [Book i. 

They, on their part, address themselves to the spoil and 
the coming feast ; they tear the skin from the ribs, and lay 
bare the flesh. Some cut up the carcase into parts, and 
stick it on spits while still quivering ; others place the brazen 
caldrons on the shore, and kindle fires. Then they recruit 
their strength with food, and, scattered on the grass, they take 
their fill of rich old wine and fatted venison. After their 
hunger had been satisfied by feasting, and the viands had 
been removed, in long conversation they recall with sorrow 
their lost companions, wavering between hope and fear, as 
to whether they should believe them yet alive, or should 
conclude that they have finished their course, and no longer 
hear when called. With especial sorrow the tender-hearted 
yEneas inwardly laments the loss of the fearless Orontes, 
then the fate of Amycus, and the cruel lot of Lycus — the 
valiant Gyas, too, and the brave Cloanthus. 

At length they ceased ; when Jove, looking down from 
the lofty sky upon the sea with all its sails, and the regions 
of earth outstretched beneath his view, and the coasts and 
wide-extending peoples, thus stood on the pinnacle of 
heaven, and on the realms of Libya fixed his gaze. Him, 
revolving such cares in his mind, Venus, sadder than her 
wont, her bright eyes bedimmed with tears, thus addresses : 
O Father, who, with never-ceasing government, rule 
the universe, and overawe men with your thunderbolts, 
what so heinous offence could my ^neas and the Trojans 
commit against you, that to them, after having suffered so 
many deaths, the whole world is closed, all on account of 
Italy ? You certainly promised that from them, after the 
lapse of years, the Romans should arise, and that from the 
revived blood of Teucer ^ chiefs should spring, who should 
rule both sea and land with undisputed sway. Father ! why is 
your purpose changed ? I, indeed, was solacing myself with 

^ Teucer, a king of Phrygia, son of Scamander. Troy was called 
from him Teucria, and the Trojans Teucri. 

210-262] THE AENEID. 161 

this promise for the fall of Troy and her sad ruin, balancing 
evil fates with good ones. Now the same fortune still 
pursues them, harassed though they have been by so many 
calamities. O mighty Ruler, what end do you fix for their 
toils? Antenor, escaping from the very midst of the Greeks, 
was able to sail round the lUyrian gulf, and in safety to reach 
the far up kingdom of the Liburnians,^ and to pass by the 
springs of the Timavus, from which, with loudest mountain 
din a whole sea bursts forth through nine mouths, and 
covers the fields with its roaring tide. Yet there he built 
the city of Patavium,- and established a Trojan settlement, 
and gave the nation a name, and hung up the arms of Troy, 
and now enjoys in peace a calm repose.^ We, your own 
progeny, to whom you promise heavenly honour, our ships 
being lost, alas, are abandoned by you, all for the wrath of 
one individual, and are kept far away from the coasts of 
Italy. Is this the reward of a dutiful life ? Is it thus that 
you reinstate us in our sovereign rights ? 

The father of gods and men smiling upon her with that 
look by which he clears the sky and the weather, gently kissed 
his daughter's lips ; then thus replies : Cytherea,'* cease from 
fear : unchanged to you remain the fates of your friends. 
You shall see the city and promised walls of Lavinium, and 
you shall raise magnanimous ^neas aloft to the stars of 
heaven ; nor is my purpose altered. Here, for your com- 
fort — for I will tell you, since this care lies gnawing at your 
heart, and I will reveal the secrets of fate, unfolding them 

^ Liburnia (Croatia), a province of Illyricum, at the head of the 

- Patavium, now Padua, celebrated as the birth-place of Livy. 

^ Some understand this as referring to Antenor's death, and not to a 
peaceful reign. 

■* Cytherea, a surname of Venus, from Cythera (Cerigo), an island 

on the southern coast of Laconia in Peloponnesus, which was sacred to 

her, and on the coast of which she was said to have risen to life from 

the sea-foam. 


l62 THE AENEID. [Book I. 

farther than is wont — he shall wage a great war in Italy ; he 
shall crush its bold nations and establish civil government 
and found cities for his subjects, till the third summer 
shall see him reigning in Latium, and three winters pass 
over the conquered Rutulians.^ But the boy Ascanius,- sur- 
named liilus — he was Ilus while the Trojan state remained 
in unbroken strength — shall complete thirty long years of 
rule and their circling months, and shall transfer the seat 
of his empire from Lavinium, and in his might of power 
shall build and strengthen Alba Longa. Here now, for full 
three hundred years Monarchs shall reign of Hector's line, 
until Ilia,^ a royal priestess, shall bear two infants at a birth 
to Mars their father. Then Romulus, wearing with grateful 
pride the tawny skin of the wolf, his foster-mother, shall take 
up the nation, and shall build a city sacred to Mars, and from 
his own name shall call the people Romans. For them I 
assign limits neither to the extent nor to the duration of their 
empire ; dominion have I given them without end. Nay, 
Juno, relentless though she be, who now through jealous 
fear compasses sea and earth and heaven, shall change her 
counsels for the better, and join with me in fostering the 
Romans, masters of the world, — and yet a people clothed in 
the gown of peace. Such is my pleasure. An age shall come, 
after a course of years, when the house of Assaracus shall 
bring under subjection Phthia"* and renawned Mycenae, and 
shall lord it over vanquished Argos. Caesar, of Trojan blood, 
shall be born from an illustrious race, who is destined to 

^ Riitulians, a people of Latium. They supported Turnus their king 
in the war which he waged against ^neas. 

- Ascanius, called also liilus, was the son of /Eneas by Creusa ; he 
accompanied his father to Italy, succeeded him in the kingdom of 
the Latins, and built the city of Alba Longa. 

^ Ilia, or Rhea, priestess of Vesta, was the daughter of Numitor, 
king of Alba, and the mother of Romulus and Remus by Mars. 

^ Phthia, a city of Thessaly, celebrated as the birth-place of Achilles; 
it gave name to the surrounding district. 

263-309] THE AENEID. 1 63 

bound his empire by the ocean, his fame by the stars, — 
Julius, a name derived from great liikis. By and by, freed 
from all anxieties, you shall receive him in heaven, laden 
with the spoils of the East : he, too, shall be invoked by 
vows and prayers. Then wars shall cease, and fierce nations 
shall lay aside their hate. Hoary Faith, Vesta, and Quirinus,^ 
with his brother Remus, shall lay down rules of law. The 
gates of War,- grim with iron bolts, shall be closed. Within 
the temple godless Fury, seated on horrid arms, his hands 
bound behind him with a hundred brazen chains, shall roar 
with bloody mouth in hideous rage. 

He said, and from on high sent down the son of 
Maia,^ in order that the coasts of Libya and the towers of 
infant Carthage might be open to receive the Trojans in 
hospitality ; lest Dido,'* ignorant of heaven's decree, should 
forbid them her dominions. He flies through the vast 
heaven with oary-wings, and in rapid flight descended on 
the coasts of Libya. At once he performs his commis- 
sion; and as the god so willed it, the Carthaginians lay 
aside the fierceness of their hearts : the queen in a special 
manner conceives a kindly feeling towards the Trojans, and 
a generous spirit. 

But pious yFneas, by night pondering many things, as 
soon as cheerful day arose, resolved to go forth and to 
reconnoitre the unknown country, and to find out what 
coasts he had been driven to by the storm ; who are the 
occupants, whether men or wild beasts — for he sees that 
the ground is untilled — and to report to his friends the 

^ Ouirinus, a name given to Romulus after he was deified. 

- Referring to the Temple of Janus, which was shut in times of peace, 
but open when Rome was at war. 

'•* Tlie son of Maia, Mercury. 

■• Dido, called also Elisa, or Elissa, the daughter of Belus, king of 
Tyre, and the wife of Sychasus, whom her brother Pygmalion mur- 
dered for his riches. 

164 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

result. Within a retired and wooded creek, under shelter of 
a hollow rock, he secretly disposes his fleet for concealment 
amid trees and gloomy shades : he himself sallies forth, 
attended by Achates alone, having in his hand two 
javelins with broad blades. In whose way his mother threw 
herself in the midst of the wood, having the features, wear- 
ing the dress, and bearing the armour of a Spartan maiden, 
or such as is Harpalyce^ when she presses her horses 
to their speed, and outstrips the swift Hebrus in her flight. 
For being out a-hunting, she had slung a handy bow upon 
her shoulders, as was her wont, and had allowed her hair to 
be tossed by the breeze ; bare to the knee, and having her 
amply flowing robes gathered up in a knot. Then first : 
Hark ! my lads, she says, Tell me if you have chanced to 
see one of my sisters strolling this way, equipped with a 
quiver, and the skin of a spotted lynx, or show me which way 
she went pursuing in full cry a foaming boar. Thus Venus; 
and thus Venus' son replied : No one of your sisters has been 
heard or seen by me, O virgin, by what name shall I 
address you ? for you wear not the looks of a mortal, nor is 
your voice that of a mortal. O, a goddess surely ! Are you 
the sister of Phcebus ? or are you one of the race of the 
nymphs ? Oh ! be propitious ; and whoever you are, 
relieve our anxiety, and inform us, pray, under what sky, 
or in what region of the globe we are cast. We stray at 
hazard, knowing not where we are or whom among, having 
been driven here by furious winds and mountain waves ; 
as offerings to you shall many a victim fall before the 
altar by my right hand. Then Venus thus : I, indeed, do 
not deem myself worthy of such honour. It is the custom 
for the Tyrian maidens to wear a quiver, and bind the leg 
thus high with a purple buskin. You see the kingdom of 

^ Harpalyce, a daughter of Harpalycus, king of Thrace, represented 
in mythology as a woman of undaunted courage. 

310-367] THE AENEID. 165 

Carthage, a Tyrian people, and Agenor's city,^ but the 
territory is that of the Libyans, a race invincible in war. 
Dido holds the sceptre, who fled from the city of Tyre, escap- 
ing from her brother : Tedious is the story of her wrongs, the 
tale is long and intricate ; but I will recount in order the 
principal points of it.^ Her husband was Sychaeus, the richest 
of the Phoenicians in land, and fondly loved by his ill-fated 
wife : to him her father had given her, a virgin bride, and 
had united her in her first espousals. But her brother 
Pygmalion then possessed the throne of Tyre, a monster of 
iniquity before all others. Between them a bitter quarrel 
arose. Defiant of religion, and blinded by avarice, he 
took Sychaeus by surprise and slew him before the altar, 
regardless of his sister's great affection ! and long did he 
conceal the deed, in his wickedness ; with many a false excuse 
and with hollow hopes he mocked her pining love. But 
the shade of her still unburied husband appeared to her in 
sleep, raising to her view his face, now ghastly pale : he 
revealed to her the merciless deed at the altar, and showed 
the sword-thrust in his breast, and disclosed the dark 
domestic crime in all its guilt. Then he exhorts her to 
fly in haste, and quit her native land ; and, to aid her flight, 
unearths before her treasures stored of old, an unknown mass 
of gold and silver. Roused to action by these revelations. 
Dido at once prepared for escape, and gathered friends. All 
assemble who held the tyrant in vengeful hate or mortal 
dread. The wealth of the greedy Pygmalion is borne off to 
sea — a woman foremost in the deed. They came to the 
spot where now you see the giant walls and rising towers of 
infant Carthage, and bought as much ground — called Byrsa,^ 

' Agenor's city : Carthage is so called, as being built by Dido, who 
was the descendant of xXgenor, king of Phoenicia. 

" Literally "the chief heads." 

^ Byrsa is a corruption for Bosra, the Phoenician name for the citadel 
of Carthage. In Greek the word means a "hide." Hence the legend. 

l66 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

in commemoration of the deed — as they could enclose with 
a bull's hide. But, pray, who are you ? or from what coasts 
have you come, or whither are you bound? To these 
her inquiries he made reply, sighing heavily, and drawing 
his words from the depths of his heart : O goddess ! if I 
should tell my story throughout from the very beginning, 
and if you had leisure to listen to the tale of our afflictions, 
ere I had done the evening star would close Olympus' gates 
and end the day. After we had sailed far over various seas 
from ancient Troy — if, perhaps, the name of Troy has 
reached your ears,— a storm, by special chance, has driven 
us on the shores of Libya. I am the " Pious ^neas," 
renowned by fame above the skies, who am carrying with 
me in my fleet the gods I rescued from the enemy. I am 
bound for Italy, my home — for my forefathers ^ sprang from 
Jove supreme. With twice ten ships I embarked on the 
Phrygian Sea, following the oracles vouchsafed, my goddess- 
mother pointing out the way ; scarce seven are left, sore 
shattered, too, by waves and wind. Myself, a stranger, 
poor and destitute, wander in the deserts of Africa, hunted 
from Europe and from Asia. Venus, however, did not 
allow further complaints, but thus interrupted him in the 
midst of his mournful story : Whoever you are, I Delieve you 
live not unbefriended by the powers of heaven, inasmuch as 
you have arrived at this Tyrian city. Only go forward, and 
hold on your course to the palace of the queen. For I tell 
you that your friends are restored to you, and that your 
fleet has returned and been brought into a place of safety by 
the change of the north wind, unless my parents, by empty 
fancies led, have taught me augury in vain. See those 
twelve swans in joyous order ranged, which Jove's own 
bird with sudden swoop from heaven was lately driving in 

^ /Eneas here refers to his ancestor Dardanus, son of Jove, who 
went from Italy and founded Troy, and not to his descent from Jupiter 
through Venus, 

368-424] THE AENEID. 1 6/ 

dismay through the open air : now in a long train they 
seem either to be choosing their ground, or to be hovering 
over the place already taken by others. As they restored 
to safety disport with whirring wings, and in a body circle 
round the heaven and utter notes of joy; just so your ships 
and youthful crew either already occupy the harbour, or 
are entering its mouth in full sail. Onward, then, and 
pursue your way where this path directs. 

She spoke, and as she turned aside a gleam of splendour 
burst from her rosy neck, and from her head ambrosial 
locks a heavenly perfume breathed ; her robe hung flowing 
to the ground, and by her gait she showed the goddess 
every whit. As soon as he recognised his mother, he pur- 
sued her with these accents as she fled : AMiy do you so 
often mock your son with form disguised, cruel like the 
rest? why am I not allowed to clasp hand in hand, and to 
hear and to return true words of real life ? So he chides 
her, and directs his course to the walls. But Venus covered 
them in a mist, as they went, and with power divine 
shrouded them in vapour, that none might see them, 
or touch them, or interpose delay, or inquire the reasons 
of their coming. She herself, aloft in air, departs to Paphos, 
and with joy re-seeks her loved abode, where in her honour 
her temple and her hundred altars smoke with Sabean in- 
cense, and breathe forth fragrance from garlands freshly 

Meanwhile, they started on their way, following the beaten 
path. And now they were ascending the hill which 
hangs with its huge mass over the town, and from its heights 
looks down upon the towers opposite, .^neas admires the 
vast size of the buildings, once mere huts :^ he admires the 
gates, he marvels at the bustle and the din, and the pave- 
ment of the streets. The Tyrians eagerly press on the 
work : some lengthen the walls, and build a citadel, and 
^ Mere huts, as opposed to the massive buildings. 

l68 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

roll up stones with their hands ; some choose sites for houses, 
and enclose them with a trench. Some are framing a code 
of law, and are selecting magistrates and a sacred senate.^ 
Here some are excavating a harbour ; there others are 
laying the deep foundations of a theatre, and are quarry- 
ing huge columns from the rocks, gigantic ornaments of 
future scenes. Their labour is such as that which employs 
the bees in the first bright days of summer in the flowery 
fields when they lead forth the mature young of the race, 
or when they stow away the liquid honey and distend their 
cells with sweet nectar, or receive the burdens of the 
incomers, or in marshalled band drive from their courts 
the drones, a useless herd. The work goes on with glee, 
and the fragrant honey is redolent of thyme. O happy you, 
whose walls now rise ! ^neas says, and lifts his eyes to the 
battlements of the city. Shrouded in a cloud, strange to 
tell ! he passes amidst the multitude, and mingles with the 
throng, nor is he seen by any. In the centre of the city was 
a grove with rich embowering shade, where first the Cartha- 
ginians, tossed by hurricane and wave, dug up the head of 
a high-mettled courser, an omen which royal Juno had given, 
for by this she signified that the nation would be renowned 
in war, and would enjoy abundance and security for ages. 
Here Sidonian Dido was building to Juno a stately temple, 
enriched by offerings, and by the especial presence of the 
goddess ; to the brazen threshold of which a flight of steps 
led up ; the posts were made fast to lintel and threshold 
with brass, and the hinge creaked beneath doors of brass. 
In this grove a strange circumstance first abated the fear of 
the Trojans : here ^neas first dared to hope for ultimate 
safety, and to have more faith in his fortunes, though now 

1 In legimt there is a zeugma, in this sense: " they enact laws, and 
choose magistrates, and a sacred senate : " or rather, perhaps, they select 
or pick out laws from the codes of other nations, as the decemviri did at 
Rome, to which Virgil is probably referring. 

425-474] THE AENEID. 169 

depressed. For while he surveys everything beneath the 
dome of the spacious temple, waiting for the queen ; while 
he wonders what good fortune attends the city, and is filled 
with admiration by the handiwork of the artists, harmonis- 
ing with one another, ^ and the elaborate finish of the work, 
he sees the Trojan battles all in order, and the war now spread 
by fame over the whole world ; the sons of Atreus,^ and 
Priam,^ and Achilles implacable to both. He stood still; and 
with tears he says : What place, Achates, what country on 
the globe, is not already full of our sorrows ? see there is 
Priam ! Even here merit meets its due reward ; here are 
tears for human casualties, and hearts of men are touched 
by others' woes. Dismiss your fears : this knowledge of 
our deeds will bring us some relief. Thus he speaks, 
devouring the unsubstantial picture, with many a sigh, 
and bathes his face with floods of tears. For he beheld how, 
in one place, the invading Greeks were flying round the 
walls of Troy, while the Trojan warriors were in close 
pursuit; in another, the Trojans were in flight, while 
plumed Achilles pressed them hard in his chariot ; and not 
far from this, with tears he recognises the tents of Rhesus,"* 
and their snow-white coverings, which, left unguarded in 
the first and heavy sleep, the cruel Diomede laid waste with 
many a death, and drove away the fiery steeds to the Grecian 
camp, before they had tasted the pasture of Troy or had 
drunk of the Xanthus.'^ In another part, Troilus,<' flying, 

1 Inter se, some copies read iutra se, i.e. wonders within himself, 
which is very insipid indeed. J\laiuis inter se seems to mean either 
each strove to rival his neighbour's work, or they all strove to produce 
harmony in tlie difTercnt parts. 

- Sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus. 

* Priam, the son of Laomedon, and the last king of Troy. 

■• Rhesus, a warlike king of Thrace, who went to the assistance of Priam. 

^ Xanthus, a river of Troas, in Asia Minor, rising in Mount Ida, 
and falling into the sea at Sigreum. It is the same as the .Scamander. 

^ Troilus, a son of Priam and Hecuba, slain by Achilles. 

I/O THE AENEID. [Book i. 

his armour lost, ill-fated youth, and an unequal match 
for Achilles, is run away with by his horses, and having 
fallen backward, he clings to the empty car, but still 
he holds the reins ; his neck and his hair trail along the 
ground, and the sand is furrowed by the inverted spear. 
Meanwhile Trojan matrons with hair dishevelled were 
marching in procession to the temple of the unpropitious 
Pallas, and in guise of suppliants, sad of look, were bearing 
a robe, and were smiting their breasts with their hands. The 
goddess, with averted look, kept her eyes fixed on the 
ground. Thrice had Achilles dragged Hector round the 
walls of Troy, and was in the act of selling his lifeless 
corpse for gold. Then, indeed, ^neas uttered a deep 
groan from the bottom of his breast when he saw the spoils, 
the chariot, and the very body of his friend, and Priam 
stretching forth his unarmed hands. Himself, too, he 
recognised, mingled with the Grecian leaders, and the 
Eastern bands, and the arms of swarthy Memnon.^ Pen- 
thesilea,^ in wild excitement, leads on her troops of Amazons 
with their crescent shields, and boldly mixes in the midst of 
thousands, buckling a golden belt beneath her uncovered 
breast, woman-warrior as she was, and though a maiden, 
dares to fight with men. 

While the Dardan ^neas examines these things with 
astonishment, and while bewildered he remains riveted 
to the spot in one steady gaze. Queen Dido in surpass- 
ing beauty advanced to the temple, escorted by a 
numerous body-guard. Such she looked as does Diana, 
when on the banks of the Eurotas or on the summits of 
Mount Cynthus she trains her choirs, and when on this 

^ Memnon, a king of Ethiopia. He came with a body of 10,000 men 
to assist his uncle Priam in the Trojan war, where he displayed great 
courage, and killed Antilochus, Nestor's son, but was himself after- 
wards slain by Achilles in single combat. 

^ Penthesilea, a queen of the Amazons, daughter of Mars. 

475-52S] THE AENEID. 171 

side and on that the mountain nymphs attend around her ; 
on her shoulders she bears her quiver, and as she walks in her 
majesty she overtops them all, though goddesses : unuttered 
feelings of joyful pride thrill through the bosom of Latona.^ 
Such was Dido, and such with cheerful grace and bearing 
did she move onward in the midst of them, intent upon the 
work, and eager for her kingdom soon to be. Then at the 
gate of the goddess beneath the temple's central dome she 
took her place, surrounded by her guards, and seated on a 
lofty throne. She was dispensing justice and giving laws to 
her subjects, and, in equal portions, was distributing their 
tasks, or was settling them by lot; when suddenly ^neas sees, 
advancing with a vast concourse, Antheus, Sergestus, brave 
Cloanthus, and other Trojans, whom a hurricane had scat- 
tered over the sea, and had driven far away to other parts of 
the coast. Paralysed at once by joy and fear, he stood aston- 
ished, and good Achates too ; they burned with eagerness to 
clasp their comrades' hands, but the uncertainties of the situa- 
tion perplex their minds. They check their feelings, and 
enveloped in the hollow cloud they strive to find how fare 
the men, where they leave their fleet, and why they come ; 
for deputies from each ship were on their way to pray for 
grace, and were now making for the temple midst a 
mingled din. 

When they had entered, and permission was given to speak 
before the queen, Ilioneus, their aged chief, thus began with 
calm address : O queen, to whom Jove has granted to found 
this rising city, and to curb lawless nations by impartial 
government, we Trojans, objects of your pity, tossed by 
the winds over every sea, implore you, ward off from our 
ships the hideous flames ; spare a gentle race, and more 
propitiously regard our state. We have not come either 
to devastate with the sword your Libyan homes, or to carry 
your goods as plunder to our ships. No such violence is in 
^ Latona, the mother of Apollo and Diana. 

1/2 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

our minds, nor do the vanquished feel such thoughts of 
wrong. There is a country called by the Greeks Hesperia,^ 
a land of ancient story, powerful by warlike bravery and fer- 
tile soil : men of Q^^notria- once tilled it : now it is said that 
later generations have called it Italia, from the name of a chief. 
To it our course was shaped, when tempestuous Orion rising 
with a sudden swell drove us on hidden shallows, and by 
boisterous south winds dispersed us, o'ermastered by the sea, 
far away both over waves and pathless rocks without a channel. 
From there a few of us have drifted to your shores. What 
race of human beings is this ? or what home of men is so 
barbarous as to allow this treatment ? We are denied the 
welcome of the beach. They levy war, and forbid us to set 
foot on the edge of their land. If you disregard the 
human race and the arms of men, yet expect the gods, who 
remember the right and the wrong. zEneas was our chief, 
than whom no one was more righteous, no one was more 
conspicuous for his sense of duty, no one was more valiant 
in war and in battle. And if the Fates preserve this noble 
man, if he still breathes the air of heaven, and lies not yet 
among the heartless dead, we fear not : and as for you, O 
queen, grudge not to be first to vie with him in acts of 
kindness. We have likewise cities and arms in Sicily, and 
the illustrious Acestes of Trojan extraction. Permit us to 
draw up on shore our shattered ships, to select in the 
forests timbers suitable for our purpose and dress wood 
for oars ; that if it be granted us to steer our course for 
Italy, upon the recovery of our chief and our friends, we 
may in joyful confidence make for Italy and the Latian 
shore ; but if our Preserver has been taken from us, and if 

^ Hesperia, a name applied to Italy by the Greeks, and to Spain by 
the Romans. 

2 CEnotrians, the inhabitants of CEnotria, or that part of Italy which 
was afterwards called Lucania. CEnotria is sometimes applied to Italy 
in general. 

529-582] THE AENEID, 1 73 

the Libyan sea contains you, best father of the sons of Troy, 
and no further hope of liilus remains, we may at least repair 
to the straits of Sicily, and the settlement there awaiting us, 
whence we were driven hither, and in Acestes seek another 
Chief. So spoke Ilioneus : the Trojans all with one accord 
murmured their assent. 

Then Dido, with downcast looks, thus briefly replies : 
Trojans, banish fear from your breasts, lay your cares aside. 
Hardship and the infancy of my kingdom compel me to take 
such strict precautions, and to protect my frontiers in their 
whole extent with armed guards. AVho is a stranger to the race 
of the Aeneadae, who knows not of the city of the Trojans, of 
their noble qualities, and their famous men, and the devasta- 
tions of so great a war ? We Carthaginians do not possess 
minds that are so lost to feeling, nor does the sun yoke his 
steeds so far away from our Tyrian city. AVhether you choose 
the great Hesperia, and the home where Saturn dwelt, or the 
territory of Eryx^ with Acestes as your king, I will let you 
go, protected by my assistance, and I will help )ou with my 
resources. Or are you inclined to settle in this realm on 
equal terms with me ? The city w^hich I am building is at 
your service : draw your ships ashore ; Trojan and Tyrian 
shall be treated by me with no distinction. And would that 
your chief ^-I^'neas, too, were forcibly driven here by the 
same gale ! I will, indeed, send trusty messengers in 
different directions along the coasts, and I will bid them 
search the utmost bounds of Libya, to find if cast ashore 
he strays an outcast in some wood or city. 

Stirred by these words, brave Achates and father 
^neas were erewhile burning with impatience to break 
from the cloud. Achates first addresses .-Eneas : Goddess- 
born, what purpose now arises in )our mind ? You 

^ Eryx, a king of Sicily, son of Butes and Venus ; also a town and 
mountain of Sicily, near Drepanum. On the summit of Mount Eryx 
(Giuliano) stood a famous temple of Venus, who was hence called Erycina. 

1/4 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

see that all is safe ; your fleet and friends restored. One 
alone is missing, whom we ourselves saw perishing amidst 
the waves : all else agrees with the predictions of your 
mother. He had scarcely spoken, when suddenly the 
cloud that hid them breaks, and clears away into the 
open blue. yEneas stood forth to view and shone 
resplendent in the crystal light in countenance and form 
a very god : for Venus herself had adorned her son with 
graceful locks, had given him the rosy bloom of youth, and 
had imparted to his eyes a gleaming lustre : such beauty as 
the artist's hand imparts to ivory, or such as when silver 
or Parian marble is enchased with yellow gold. 

Then he thus addresses the queen, and, hitherto unseen 
by all he says : I whom you seek am present before you, 
Trojan ^neas, rescued from the Libyan waves. O lady, 
you who alone have pitied the unutterable woes of Troy, 
you who would associate with you in your city, in your 
home, us, sole survivors from the Grecian sword, us, who 
are worn out by every calamity both of land and sea and 
deprived of every resource, it is not in my power, O Dido, 
nor in that of all the Dardan race,^ which is scattered every- 
where over the world, to return you the gratitude which you 
deserve. May the gods give you a worthy reward, if there 
are any deities which with special care regard the righteous, 
if justice and a " conscience void of offence " be anywhere 
held in esteem. What ages have been so blessed as to give 
you birth ? \Yhat mortals so endowed as to be your 
parents ? So long as the rivers shall flow into the sea, so 
long as the shadows shall play upon the mountain sides, 
so long as the stars shall feed on aether, your honour, and 
your name, and your praises shall live in my memory, to 
whatever land fate may summon me. So speaking, he 

^ Dardan race, that is, the Trojans, as descended from Dardanus, the 
son of Jupiter and Electra, who fled to Asia Minor, where he built the 
city of Dardania', and became the founder of the kingdom of Troy. 

583-640] THE AENEID. 1/5 

grasps Ilioneus witli his right hand and Serestus with his 
left, and then the others, the vahant Gyas, and the brave 

At once Sidonian Dido was entranced, first by the 
hero's mien and then his dire disasters, and thus she 
spoke : O goddess-born, what evil fortune pursues you 
through such fearful perils ? what malign power drives you 
to these savage coasts ? Are you that famed ^^neas whom, 
by Phrygian Simois' stream, the gracious Venus bore to 
Trojan Anchises ? And now, indeed, I remember Teucer, 
an exile from his native land, coming to Sidon in 
quest of a new kingdom by the aid of Belus. My father 
Belus then was laying waste the wealthy Cyprus, and 
having conquered it, held it in complete subjection. 
Ever since that time I have been acquainted with the fate 
of Troy, with your name, and with the Grecian kings. He, 
enemy though he was, extolled the Trojans with especial 
praise, and delighted in tracing his descent from the ancient 
Trojan race. Come then, youths, enter my home. Me, 
too, harassed by many afflictions, a similar fate has 
destined to settle down at last in this land. Being myself 
not unacquainted with misfortune, I learn to succour the 

So she speaks. At once she leads .-iuieas to the palace, 
and orders sacrifice to be offered in the temples of the gods, 
and in the meantime, with no less thoughtful care, she sends 
to the shore for his companions twenty bullocks, a hundred 
bristly carcases of huge boars, a hundred fat lambs with the 
parent-ewes, and gladdening gifts of wine. But the inner 
rooms are splendidly furnished with regal pomp, and 
banquets are prepared in the middle of the palace. The 
coverlets were of princely purple, skilfully embroidered; 
the tables groaned with massive plate ; and vessels, 

' " Taught by that power which pities me, I karn to pity them." — 

176 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

gold-embossed, recorded the brave deeds of her ancestors — 
a very long series of events carried on by so many heroes 
from the first origin of the family, ^neas— for a father's 
love did not allow his mind to be at ease — hastily despatches 
Achates to the ships to tell this news to Ascanius, and to 
conduct him to the city. All the care of the fond parent 
centres in Ascanius. He bids him bring, moreover, as 
presents, saved from the ruins of Troy, a mantle stiff with 
figures and with gold, and a veil bordered with leaves of the 
yellow acanthus, the ornaments of Grecian Helen,^ her 
mother Leda's wondrous gift, which she had brought with 
her from Mycenae, when she was hastening to Troy and 
lawless nuptials ; a sceptre too, which once Ilione, Priam's 
eldest daughter, bore ; a pearl necklace, and a coronet with 
a double row of gems and gold. Hastening to obey his 
orders. Achates bent his way to the ships. 

But Venus revolves in her mind new wiles, new designs : 
that Cupid should come in place of the darling Ascanius, 
assuming his shape and features, and by his gifts kindle in the 
queen all the rage of love, and in her very marrow lodge the 
flame ; she dreads, forsooth, the family of doubtful faith and 
the double-tongued Tyrians. The implacable spirit of Juno 
galls her, and at the approach of night her anxiety returns 
with greater force. To winged Love, therefore, she ad- 
dresses these words : O son, my strength, my only mighty 
power ; my son, who can defy the Typhoean bolts of Jove 
supreme, to you I fly, and suppliant implore your power. 
'Tis known to you how round all shores your brother 
-^neas is tossed from sea to sea by the spiteful hate of 
bitter Juno, and in my grief you have often grieved. Phce- 
nician Dido entertains him and stays him with smooth 

^ Helen, the wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta, was the most beautiful 
woman of her age. In the absence of her husband, Paris, son of king 
Priam, carried her away, which was the cause of the ten years' war 
against Troy. 

641-700] THE AENEID. 1 77 

speech ; and I fear what may be the issue of the hospitaHties 
of Juno : she will not be idle at such a crisis. Wherefore, 
I propose to capture the queen beforehand by subtle means, 
and to encircle her with the flame of love, that she may 
not be altered by the power of any deity, but that she 
may be enchained like me by an overpowering fondness for 
yEneas. Now hear my plan how you may effect this. The 
royal boy, my chief care, is preparing to visit the Sidonian 
city at his father's call, bearing presents saved from the sea 
and from the fires of Troy. Him, lulled to sleep, I will lay 
down in some sacred retreat on Cythera's tops, or above 
Idalium,^ that he may not know the plot, or interrupt it 
in fulfilment. You will artfully counterfeit his person 
for one night only, and, yourself a boy, assume the boy's 
familiar looks ; that when Dido shall take you to her 
bosom in the height of her joy at the royal table and 
during the serving of the wine, when she shall embrace you 
and imprint sweet kisses, you may breathe into her the 
secret flame and poison her unobserved. Love obeys the 
dictates of his dear mother, and lays aside his wings, and 
in joyful glee imitates the gait of liilus. Meanwhile 
Venus pours the dews of balmy sleep on the limbs of 
Ascanius, and when she had fondled him in her lap she 
conveys him to Idalium's lofty groves, where soft marjoram, 
perfuming the air, envelops him with flowers and fragrant 

Now, in obedience to his mother's instructions, Cupid 
was tripping along, dehghted with Achates as his guide, and 
was bearing the royal presents to the Tyrians. On his 
arrival he finds that the queen was already seated on a 
golden couch under a rich canopy and had taken her place 
in the middle. Now Father ^neas and now the Trojan 
youth assemble, and disperse themselves on the cushioned 

^ Idalium, a town of Cyprus at the foot of Mount Idalus, with a 
grove sacred to Venus, who was hence called Idalia. 


178 THE AENEID. [Book i. 

benches. The attendants supply water for the hands, bring 
forth and serve the bread from baskets, and hand round towels 
with close cut pile. Within are fifty handmaids, whose charge 
it was to lay out provisions in long array, each in her assigned 
place, and to kindle fire on the altars of the household 
gods. There were another hundred maidens and as many 
men-servants of equal age to load the tables with dishes, 
and to set on the wine-cups. Moreover, the Tyrians bidden 
to the feast assembled in great numbers and reclined 
on the broidered couches. They view with admiration the 
presents of yEneas : and they admire Ililus and the glow- 
ing looks of the god, his well-dissembled words and the 
mantle and the veil bordered with leaves of the saffron 
acanthus. But in an especial manner the unhappy queen, 
given over to a passion destined to be her bane, cannot 
satisfy her feelings by gazing, and becomes more en- 
amoured as she looks, and her spirit is moved within her 
alike by the boy and by the gifts. When he has hung for 
some time in the embrace and on the neck of ^neas, and 
has satisfied the great love of his supposed father, he makes 
for the queen. She dotes on him with her eyes, with 
her whole soul, and sometimes fondles him in her lap, — 
Dido, alas ! unaware what an irresistible god is insinuating 
himself for her ruin. Meanwhile he, mindful of his Aci- 
dalian mother begins insensibly to efface the memory of 
Sychaeus, and by a living flame tries at once to occupy her 
now long inactive affections and her heart unused to love. 

As soon as there was a pause in the banquet, and the 
tables were removed, they bring forward brimming goblets 
and wreathe them with garlands. A buzz of conversation 
arises in the halls, and the sound of voices swells through 
the ample courts. The lamps, now lighted, hang from the 
gilded panels, and torches overpower the darkness of the 
night. Upon this the queen called for a beaker richly 
adorned with gems and gold and filled it to the brim 

701-756] THE AENEID. 179 

with pure wine, a cup wliich Belus and all from Belus down 
were wont to use; then silence was proclaimed throughout the 
palace. She says : O Jove, for you are said to have given 
men the laws and rights of hospitality, grant that this festive 
day may be one of happy omen to the Tyrians and to my 
Trojan guests, and may our posterity ever bear it in mind. 
Let Bacchus, the joy-giver, and the bountiful Juno be in 
our midst ; and you, my Tyrians, with right good will 
this meeting make renowned. She said, and on the table 
poured an offering of wine, and, after the libation first 
gently touched the cup with her lips, then gave it to Bitias,^ 
inviting him to drink it off: without delay he drained 
the foaming bowl and from the brimming gold he drank 
his fill. So drank the other chiefs. Long-haired lopas 
whom Atlas the mighty Master taught, fills the halls with 
his golden lyre. He sings of the revolutions of the moon 
and the toilsome labours of the sun : whence the race of 
men arose, and whence the beasts : whence water and 
whence fire : of Arcturus : whence the rainy-Hyades, and 
whence the Great and the Little Bear : why winter hastens 
so much to dip her suns in ocean, and why he makes his 
nights so slow and drear. The Tyrians applaud again and 
again, and the Trojans follow in accord. 

Moreover, ill-fated Dido prolonged the night with varied 
conversation and drank in long draughts of love, asking 
much about Hector and much about Priam ; at one time, 
in what arms Aurora's son had come ; again, what kind were 
the horses of Diomede, how terrible in war was Achilles. 
Nay, rathercome, my guest, she says, and from the very begin- 
ning relate to us the stratagems of the Greeks, the disasters 
of your friends, and your own wanderings ; for now the 
seventh summer brings you to our coasts, still roaming over 
every land and every sea. 

^ Bitias and lopas, African chiefs, and suitors of Queen Dido. 


In the Second Book, JEneas, at the desire of Queen Dido, relates the fall 
of Troy, and his escape, through the general conflagration, to Mount 

In a moment all were hushed in silence, and with eager 
interest fixed on him their gaze in rapt attention. Then 
father ^neas thus began from his raised couch : 

Too cruel to be told, O queen, is the sorrow which you bid 
me to revive, how the Greeks overthrew the Trojan power 
and kingdom in a piteous ruin : those scenes which, most 
woful as they were, I with these eyes beheld, and those 
calamities which in great part fell upon myself. What 
Myrmidon, ^ or what Dolopian, or what soldier of the stern 
Ulysses' band can, in the very telling of such woes, refrain 
from tears ? and already moist night is hastening down 
heaven's slope, and the sinking stars are inviting us to sleep. 
But since you are so eager to know our misfortunes, and 
briefly to hear the last struggles of Troy, though my mind 
shudders at the remembrance of them, and through grief 
recoils from the recital, I will yet attempt it. 

The Grecian leaders, beaten in war and baffled by the 

Fates, now that so many years are running on, build by the 

divine skill of Pallas a horse high as a mountain, and form 

its sides of planks of fir. This they pretend to have vowed, 

in order to propitiate a safe return ; such is the story they 

spread. Within the dark sides of this horse they secrete and 

shut a chosen band of men whom they had picked out, and 

^ The Myrmidons and Dolopians inhabited Thessaly and the borders 
of Epirus. 

1-42] THE AENEID. l8l 

entirely fill the capacious caverns of its womb with armed 

There lies in sight of Troy, Tenedos, ^ an island well known 
by fame, and rich in its resources so long as Priam's kingdom 
stood : now there is but a bay and an insecure anchorage 
for ships. Sailing out to it they conceal themselves on its 
deserted shore. We thought that they had departed, and 
that they had set sail for Mycenae with a favouring wind. 
All Teucria, therefore, makes holiday after its long-continued 
sorrow : the gates are opened wide ; with joy we issue forth, 
and view the Grecian camp, the deserted plains, and the 
abandoned shore. Here were the Dolopian bands, we say ; 
there stern Achilles was wont to pitch his tent ; here were 
the ships drawn up ; here was the battle-ground. Some 
view with amazement the ruin-causing offering to the virgin 
Minerva, and wonder at the monster horse ; and Thymcetes^ 
first advises that it be dragged within the walls and lodged 
in the citadel, whether through treachery, or that now at 
last the fates of Troy would have it so. But Capys, and 
those who entertained more prudent sentiments, insist that 
we should either throw headlong into the sea the crafty 
device and the suspected gift of the Greeks, or destroy it 
by fire, or else that we should probe and search the hollow 
recesses of the womb. The wavering crowd are divided in 
their opinions. 

Upon this Laocoon,^ taking the lead, runs down in eager 
haste from the top of the citadel, with a large attendant 
throng, and from afar cries aloud, O wretched countrymen, 
what desperate infatuation is this ? Do you really believe 

1 Tenedos, a small and fertile island of the yEgean Sea, opposite 

- Thymoetes, a Trojan prince, whose wife and son were put to death 
by Priam ; it was said that, in revenge, he persuaded his countrymen to 
bring the wooden horse into the city. 

^ Laocoon, a son of Priam and Hecuba, and priest of Apollo. 

1 82 THE AENEID. [Book ii. 

that the enemy are gone ? or do you suppose that any gifts 
of the Greeks can be free from guile ? Is that all you know 
of Ulysses ? Either Greeks lie hiding within this wood, or 
it is an engine framed against our walls, to overlook our 
houses, and to come down upon our city from above : 
some deceit or other is under it. Trojans, put no faith in 
this horse. Whatever it be, I dread the Greeks, even when 
they offer gifts. Thus he said, and with powerful strength 
he hurled his massy spear against the side and the belly of 
the monster with its curving joints ; the weapon stood 
quivering, and by reason of the rebound the deep recesses 
echoed and gave forth a heavy groan. And had the 
decrees of heaven so willed it, had our minds been free 
from infatuation, Laocoon had led us at once to attack 
with the sword the lurking-place of the Greeks, and Troy 
would now be standing, and you, O lofty citadel of Priam, 
would still remain ! 

In the meantime, some Trojan shepherds with loud 
shouts were dragging to the king a youth, whose hands 
were bound behind him ; who had voluntarily throvv-n him- 
self in their way, stranger though he was, to effect this very 
thing, ^ and to open Troy to the Greeks; undaunted in 
mind, and prepared for either event, whether to carry out 
his wiles, or to meet a certain death. The Trojan youth 
crowd around him from all sides, in eagerness to see 
him, and they vie with one another in mocking the captive. 
Now hear the treachery of the Greeks, and from the guilt 
of one learn v/hat they all are. For as he stood full in view, 
agitated and unarmed, and slowly cast his eyes around 
the Trojan bands : Alas ! says he, what land, what seas can 
now receive me ? or what now remains for a wretch like 
me, for whom there is no shelter anywhere- among the 
Greeks? and, moreover, the Trojans also seek satisfaction 
along with my blood. By which lamentation our feelings 
1 That is, to be brought before King Priam. 

43-87] THE AENEID. 1 83 

towards him were changed, and every attempt at violence 
was checked. We encourage him to speak : we urge him 
to tell his race and origin, what he has to say for himself: on 
what does he, as a prisoner, rely ? He speaks as follows : 

I, indeed, O king, will tell all truly, says he, whatever 
the result shall be to myself; and I will not deny that I be- 
long to the Greek nation : this first I will acknowledge ; for 
though fortune has made Sinon miserable, she shall not 
be malicious enough to turn him into a faithless man 
and a liar. If, perchance, in the course of conversation, 
there should have reached your ears any mention of Pala- 
medes,^ descendant of Belus, and his renown made glorious 
by fame, — whom, under false information, the Greeks, because 
he dissuaded them from war, put to death, guiltless though 
he was of the infamous crime laid to his charge ; but whom 
they lament now that he is dead :— as I was related to him 
by blood, my father, being a poor man, sent me with him 
to the war at its first commencement. So long as he retained 

1 Palamedes was the son of Nauplius, king of Euboea, descended from 
Belus, king of Africa, by his grandmother Amymone, the daughter of 
Danaiis. The story here referred to is briefly this : When Ulysses, 
to be exempt fiom going to the Trojan war, under pretence of madness 
was ploughing up the shore and sowing it with salt, Talamedes laid 
down his son Telemachus in his way, and observing him turning his 
plough aside that he might not hurt the boy, by this stratagem dis- 
covered the madness to be counterfeited. For this Ulysses never could 
forgive him, and at last wrought his ruin by accusing him of holding 
intelligence with the enemy ; to support which charge he forged letters 
from Priam to Palamedes, which he pretended he had intercepted, 
and conveyed gold into his tent, alleging it was the bribe given him for 
his treason. Upon this presumption Palamedes was condemned by a 
council of war, and stoned to death. Sc'c Ovid. Met. xiii. 56. That 
Palamedes was thus taken off through a stratagem of Ulysses was a 
fact probably well known to the Trojans, though they might be ignorant 
of the colour for his being killed. Sinon, therefore, to secure the 
attention and belief of his hearers, very artfully pretends that Palamedes 
was murdered, because he had dissuaded the Greeks from continuing 
the war against Troy. 

184 THE AENEID. [Book 11. 

his royal dignity undiminished, and possessed influence in 
the assembUes of the princes, so long I, too, enjoyed some 
reputation and respect. When he departed from upper 
earth through the spitefulness of the artful schemer, Ulysses 
— I say what all men know — distressed in mind I dragged 
on my Ufe in retirement and in grief, and in solitude 
bemoaned the unmerited disaster of my guiltless friend. 
Nor did I hold my peace, fool that I was, but vowed 
revenge if any chance should offer, if ever I should return 
victorious to my native Argos ; and by my words I pro- 
voked his bitter hatred. Hence arose the first downward 
step of my misfortune ; henceforth Ulysses was always 
terrifying me with new accusations ; henceforth he began 
to spread doubtful hints among the people, and sought 
accomplices in his guilt. Nor, indeed, did he rest till, with 

Calchas as his tool But why do I for no purpose unfold 

these painful facts ? or why do I detain you if you place all 
the Greeks on the same footing, and if it be enough to hear 
that I am one ? Even now take vengeance : this the prince 
of Ithaca would wish, and the sons of Atreus would liber- 
ally reward you for your service. 

Then, indeed, we grow impatient to know and to inquire 
into the reasons, unable to conceive such depth of 
villany and of Grecian cunning. He proceeds with trepida- 
tion, and speaks from a heart false to the core. The Greeks 
often desired to leave Troy and to arrange for flight, and to 
separate to their homes, wearied with the long protracted 
war : and would that they had done so ! Often did the 
stormy state of the sea prevent them, and the south wind 
deterred them on the point of starting. In an especial 
manner, when the horse, formed of maple planks, was 
standing all complete, thunder clouds roared from every 
part of heaven. In perplexity we send Eurypylus to con- 
sult the oracle of Apollo, and from the sacred shrine he 
brings this dismal response : You appeased the winds. 

88-138] THE AENEID. 1 85 

O Greeks, with the blood of a virgin slain, ^ when first you 
steered for the Trojan coast ; by blood must your return be 
sought, and atonement must be made by the life of a Greek. 
And as soon as this response reached the ears of the multi- 
tude, their minds were stunned, and a chilling shudder ran 
through their very bones, in anxious fear as to whom the 
Fates mark out, and whom Apollo demands. Upon this 
Ulysses drags forth Calchas the seer with much bluster : he 
demands to know what these indications of the god mean : 
and now many warned me of the heartless villany of the 
plotter, and quietly watched the progress of events. He 
for twice five days is silent, and close shut up, refuses to 
betray any one by name, or to expose him to death. At 
length, being with difficulty hounded on by the loud 
demands of the Ithacan, he breaks silence, as was con- 
certed, and devotes me as the sacrifice. All assented, 
and what each dreaded for himself, that he permitted to be 
turned to the ruin of one poor wretch. And now the dread- 
ful day came ; the sacred rites were being prepared for 
me, the salted cakes, and fillets for my temples : I ran away 
from death, I own, and broke my bonds ; and in a slimy 
fen all night I lurked, screened by the sedge, while they 
might be setting sail, if by chance they should do so. And 
now I have no hope of seeing the dear old country, nor 
my sweet children, and my much-loved sire ; whom they, 

^ When the Grecian army had arrived at Aulis, ready to sail to Troy, 
Diana, incensed against Agamemnon for killing one of her favourite 
deer, withheld the wind. Calchas, having consulted the oracles, 
reported that Iphigenia, Agamemnon's daughter, must fall a victim to 
appease Diana's wrath. Ulysses went and fetched her from the tender 
embraces of her mother, under colour of her going to be married to 
Achilles. She was brought to the altar, and was on the point of being 
sacrificed, when Calchas informed them that Diana was satisfied with 
this act of submission, and consented to have a deer substituted in room 
of Iphigenia ; but that she must be transported to Tauris, there to 
serve the goddess for life in quality of priestess. 

1 86 THE AENEID. [Book ii. 

perhaps, will demand for vengeance on account of my escape, 
and will atone for this offence of mine by the death of my 
wretched friends. But I conjure you by the powers above, 
by the gods who take cognisance of truth, by whatever 
uncontaminated faith there still remains among men, com- 
passionate such grievous afflictions, compassionate one suffer- 
ing undeserved treatment. 

On this tearful appeal we grant him his life, and pity him, 
contrary to what might be expected. Priam himself first 
gives orders that the manacles and strait bonds be removed, 
then thus addresses him in kindly words : Whoever you 
are, now henceforth discard and forget the Greeks ; be one 
of us ; and give me an honest reply to these questions : For 
what purpose did they raise this monster horse? who 
suggested it ? or what do they aim at ? what was the religious 
object? or perhaps it is an engine of war? He ceased to 
speak. The other, well schooled in fraud and Grecian artifice, 
lifted up to heaven his hands, loosed from the bonds : Bear 
witness, everlasting orbs of fire, he says, you and your 
inviolable divinity ; bear witness, altars, and horrid swords, 
which I escaped ; and you fillets of the gods, which I a 
victim wore : I am free to violate my oath of fealty to the 
Greeks ; I am free to hold these men in abhorrence, and to 
reveal all their secrets ; nor am I now subject to any of my 
country's laws. Only, O Troy, abide by your promises, and 
preserve faith with your preserver, provided I disclose the 
truth, provided I make you large amends. 

The whole hope of the Greeks, and their confidence in 
beginning the war, always rested on the aid of Pallas ; but 
when the godless Diomede, and Ulysses, the contriver of 
all wicked designs, attempted to drag down from her holy 
temple the fate-bearing Palladium,^ and having slain the 

^ Palladium, a celebrated statue of Pallas, which was said to have 
fallen from heaven, and on the preservation of which depended the 
safety of Troy. 

139-19'] THE AENEID. 1 8/ 

guards of the citadel, seized her sacred image, and with 
bloody hands dared to touch the unpolluted fillets of the 
goddess ; from that moment the expectation of the Greeks 
began to fail, and, losing its hold and sliding backward, 
was borne to its former state of despair : their powers 
were weakened, the mind of the goddess was alienated; 
and Tritonia^ gave proof of that by unmistakable prodigies ; 
for scarcely was the statue set up in the camp when flashes 
of fire darted from her wildly-staring eye-balls, and a briny 
sweat flowed over her limbs ; and, wonderful to tell, of 
herself she leaped thrice from the ground, armed as she 
was with her shield and her spear all quivering. Forthwith 
Calchas declares that we must attempt the seas in flight, 
and that Troy can never be destroyed by the Grecian 
sword unless they take the omens anew at Argos, and 
bring back the goodwill of the goddess, which they at first 
bore with them over the sea in their curved ships. And 
now that they have sailed for their native INIycente with the 
wind, they are providing themselves with fresh forces and 
propitiated gods to accompany them ; and having re- 
traversed the sea, they will come upon you before you are 
aware. Thus Calchas interprets the omens. By his advice 
they have erected this image instead of the Palladium, to 
make amends for the offence to the goddess, and that it 
might atone for their sad act of sacrilege. But Calchas bid 
them rear this structure to a huge size wath jointed beams, 
and raise it to the sky, that it might not be able to be 
admitted into the gates, or be dragged into the city, and 
that it might not protect the people under their ancient 
religious shelter. For he said that if your hands should 
violate Minerva's sacred offering, then signal ruin — which 
augury may the gods sooner turn against himself! — aw-aited 
Priam's empire and the Trojans. But if by your hands it 

^ Tritonia, a surname of Minerva, from Tritonis, a lake and river of 
Africa, near which she had a temple. 

1 88 THE AENEID. [Book if. 

should mount into the city, that Asia, contrary to all 
expectation, would advance in formidable war to the very 
walls of Pelops, and that a like fate would overtake our 

By such a well-laid plot, and by the cunning skill of 
perjured Sinon, the story was believed ; and we were 
ensnared by wiles and overcome by forced tears, whom 
neither Diomede, nor Larissaean^ Achilles, nor a ten years' 
siege, nor a thousand ships had subdued. 

Upon this another scene, greater in import and much 
more fearful, is presented to us in our wretchedness, and 
bewilders our blinded intellect. Laocoon, chosen by lot 
as Neptune's priest, was sacrificing a huge bullock at the 
holy altars, when, lo ! two serpents, twin in form, coming 
from Tenedos over the peaceful deep, lie " prone upon the 
flood, extended long and large " in circles infinite — I shudder 
as I tell it — and side by side make straight for shore; 
their breasts " uplift above the waves," and their blood- 
stained manes o'ertop the waters ; the remaining part 
sweeps the sea behind them, and curls their enormous 
bodies into sinuous folds. A rushing noise is heard by 
reason of the foaming sea. And now they were gaining the 
fields, and were licking their hissing mouths with darting 
tongues, their glaring eyes suffused with blood and fire. 
Half-dead with fear we scattered helter-skelter at the sight. 
They, in undeviating course, make for Laocoon ; and first 
each serpent entwines in his embrace the bodies of his two 
sons, and preys upon the limbs of the wretched boys. 
Afterwards Laocoon himself, coming to the help of his 
children, and bringing weapons of defence, they seize and 
pinion with their huge spiral-coils ; and now twice encircling 
his waist, twice winding their scaly bodies around his 
neck, they overtop him by their heads and lofty necks. He, 

^ Larissoean : an epithet applied to Achilles, who came from Larissa, 
the capital city of Thessaly. 

192-247] THE AENEID. 1 89 

his fillets drenched with venom-tainted blood, strives to 
loosen the knots with his hands, and at the same time 
raises to heaven heartrending shrieks : such is the mournful 
bellowing of the bull when he rushes wounded from the 
altar, and endeavours to shake off from his neck the erring 
axe. But the two serpents glide safely to the summit 
of the temple, and seek the tower of stern Tritonia, and 
shelter themselves beneath the feet of the goddess, and 
under the orb of her buckler. Then, indeed, an altered 
feeling of terror diffuses itself through the quaking hearts of 
all ; and they say that Laocoon has deservedly suffered for 
his crime, inasmuch as he violated the sacred wood with 
his javelin, and hurled his impious spear into its sides. 
They demand with one voice that the image should be taken 
to its proper site, and that the favour of the goddess should 
be implored. We make a breach in the walls, and lay open 
the inner fortifications of the city. All bestir themselves 
for the work ; and under the feet of the horse they place 
rolling wheels, and fasten hempen ropes upon its neck. 
The fate-bearing machine scales the walls, filled with armed 
men ; boys and maidens crowding around sing hymns, and 
are delighted if they but touch the rope with their hands. 
Up, up it goes, and with menacing aspect slides into the heart 
of the city. O country, O Ilium, home of the gods, and ye 
walls of Troy in war renowned, four times it stopped on 
the very threshold of the gate, and four times was heard 
the clank of armour in its womb ; yet we heedless and 
blind with frantic zeal urge on, and plant the ill-starred 
monster in the sacred citadel. Then besides our other 
warnings, Cassandra,^ in order to declare approaching destiny, 
opens those lips of hers, which by order of the god were 
never believed by the Trojans. Unhappy we, to whom 

^ Cassandra, the daughter of Priam and Hecuba. According to the 
poets, she had the gift of prophecy ; but having slighted Apollo's 
love, she was punished by him in not having her prophecies believed. 

IQO THE AENEID. [Book ii. 

that day was to be the last, adorn the temples of the gods 
throughout the city with festive boughs. 

Meanwhile the heaven revolves, and night springs up 
from ocean, wrapping in deep gloom the earth and the 
sky, and the stratagems of the Myrmidons. The Trojans 
abed throughout the city were still : deep sleep fast binds 
their weary limbs. And now the Grecian host was on its 
way from Tenedos with ships in due array, making for the 
well-known shore, under the favouring stillness of the silent 
moon, when the flagship suddenly raised the signal-fire ; 
and Sinon, protected by the hostile deities, at once unbars 
the pinewood prison stealthily, and lets out the Greeks shut 
up within : the opened horse restores them to the air ; 
and they gladly issue from the hollow wood, Thessandrus 
and Sthenelus the foremost and dire Ulysses sliding down 
by a suspended rope, and Athamas and Thoas, Neoptole- 
mus, the grandson of Peleus, and Machaon first among 
men, with Menelaus, and Epeus the deviser of the fraud. 
They assault the city buried in sleep and wine. The 
sentinels are slain ; and through the opened gates they 
receive all their friends, and join their kindred bands. It 
was the time when sleep comes first and soundest upon 
wearied men, and, by the kindness of heaven, steals upon 
them with most grateful influence. In my dreams, lo ! 
Hector, in deepest sorrow, seemed to be present before my 
eyes, and to be shedding floods of tears ; after being dragged 
by the war-chariot, as he formerly was, begrimed with 
blood and dust, his swollen feet still fastened by the 
reins. Ah me ! what a sight he was ! how changed from 
that Hector whom I can at this moment see returning, clad 
in the armour of Achilles, or hurling Phrygian torches 
against the ships of the Greeks ! He shows a beard still 
squalid, and hair Avith blood defiled, and even yet he bears 
those many wounds he had received beneath his native walls. 
I thought that I myself, too, in tears, addressed the hero 

248-310] THE AENEID. I9I 

first, and uttered these mournful words : O light of Troy, 
O Trojans' firmest hope ! what causes of delay have so long 
kept you from us ? O, long-looked-for Hector ! from what 
regions do you come ? With what joy we see you after the 
many deaths of your friends, after the various disasters to 
men and to the city, exhausted as we are ! What unworthy 
cause has marred the calm beauty of your face ? or why do I 
behold these wounds ? He makes no reply, and stays not 
to answer my useless inquiries ; but, with a heavy sigh from 
the depths of his breast. Ah ! fly, goddess-born, he says, 
and save yourself from these flames : the enemy is in 
possession of the walls ; Troy is falling from its stately 
height. Enough for Priam and your country have you 
done. If Troy could now be saved by hand of man, by 
mine it had ere this been saved. Troy commends to you her 
sacred things and her gods : these take, companions of your 
fate ; for these provide a city, great and strong, which, after 
many wanderings o'er the sea, you yet at length shall build. 
So speaking, from the inner sanctuary he brings dread 
Vesta and her fillets, and the fire which ever burns. 

Meanwhile the city, in its several parts, is filled with 
mingled scenes of woe ; and though the house of my father 
Anchises stood retired, and surrounded by trees, the sounds 
become more and more distinct, and the horrid clash of 
arms rolls nearer and still nearer. I start from sleep, and 
mount in bounding haste the summit of the roof, and stand 
with listening ears. As when a spark has fallen amid 
standing corn in boisterous wind, or as a whirling torrent 
from a mountain stream overwhelms the fields, lays low the 
thriving crops, the oxen's weary toil, and downward sweeps 
the woods in seething flood, the shepherd, standing on 
some lofty rock, bewildered hears the roar, but knows not 
what it is. 'J'hen, indeed, this truth is clear, and the crafty 
plans of the Circeks are made known. Now the spacious 
house of Deiphobus falls with a crash, the fire gaining the 

192 THE AENEID. Book ii. 

mastery, and now his neighbour Ucalegon is ablaze ; the 
wide Sigaean^ strait is ht up by the fires. There arise the 
shouts of men and the clang of trumpets. Distracted I 
take my arms ; but when armed I have no fixed plan ; yet 
I am eager to collect a band for war, and to rush with them 
to the citadel : wild excitement and indignation hurry me 
to a rash resolve, and I feel that it is a glorious thing to die 
under arms. 

But lo ! Panthus having escaped from the sword of the 
Greeks, Panthus, son of Orthrys, priest of Apollo on the 
citadel, carries in his hand the holy utensils, and the 
conquered gods, and drags along his little grandson, and 
rushes for our house in his distraction. Panthus, how 
stands the common-weal ? what place of strength do we 
hold? I had scarcely spoken when, with a sigh, he thus 
replies : Troy's last day has come, and her inevitable 
doom. Trojans we once were : Ilium once existed ; and 
the renown of the Trojans once was great ! Jupiter, in 
relentless anger, has transferred all to Argos. The Greeks 
carry all before them in the burning city. The horse, 
standing proudly erect in the midst of our fortifications, 
pours forth its armed warriors, and Sinon, insolently 
triumphing in his success, applies torches in all directions. 
Some are crowding at our wide-opened gates, as many 
thousands as ever came from great Mycenae : others with 
arms have blocked up the lanes to oppose our passage. 
The unsheathed sword-blade is raised with glittering point, 
ready for the work of death : hardly do the foremost wardens 
of the gates attempt a contest, and resist in the blind rage of 
battle. By these words of Panthus, and by the instigation 
of the gods, I rush into the midst of the flames and the 

^ Sigreum, a famous promontory of Troas, at the entrance of the 
Hellespont, where the Scamander fell into the sea. Here was the 
tomb of Achilles, and near it were fought many of the battles between 
the Greeks and the Trojans. 

311-367] THE AENEID. 193 

carnage, where ihe fell \\'ar-Fiend calls me and the din 
of battle and the shouts that rend the sky. Rhipeus and 
Epytus, mighty in arms, and Hypanis and Dymas, dis- 
covered to us by the light of the moon, join us as companions 
and close in beside us, and also the youthful Corcebus,^ son 
of Mygdon. As it happened, he had come to Troy in those 
days, being madly in love with Cassandra, and, as a son-in- 
law, was bringing help to Priam and the Trojans ; ill-fated 
youth, who heeded not the warning of his inspired bride. 

And when I saw that they formed into a compact band 
were prepared to dare the fight, to encourage them farther 
I address them as follows : Brave youths, hearts more than 
brave — for nought; since your determination is fixed to follow 
me in this desperate attempt, you see in what condition our 
affairs are ; all the gods by whom this kingdom was upheld 
have departed, and have abandoned their shrines and their 
altars ; you come to the relief of a city in flames : let us die, 
and let us boldly face the death. The only safety for the 
vanquished is to expect no safety. Thus a feeling of reck- 
less daring was imparted to their minds. Then, like 
ravenous wolves in a dark fog, which the insatiable rage of 
hunger has driven forth blindly to prowl, and whose whelps 
left behind long for their return with thirsting jaws, through 
arms, through enemies, we march to certain doom, and 
hold on our way to the middle of the city : sable Night 
hovers around us with her vaulted shade. Who can 
describe in words the disasters of that night, or who can 
tell its deaths ? or who can furnish tears enough to wail its 
woes ? An ancient city, which ruled with sovereign sway 
for many years is falling to the ground : corpses, now still 
for ever, are strewn in countless numbers and in places 
wide apart, in streets antl houses, even in the sacred temples 
of the gods. Nor do the Trojans alone pay the penalty 
with their blood : valour returns sometimes to the hearts 
^ Coroebus, a Phrygian, son of Mygdon, the brother of Hecuba. 


194 THE AENEID. [Book ii, 

even of the vanquished, and the victorious Grecians fall : 
everywhere is heartless grief and awful dread, and death 
in many a shape. Androgeus first confronts us, accom- 
panied by a numerous throng of Greeks, in his simplicity 
believing us to be a band of his fellow-countrymen, and 
he unexpectedly addresses us in friendly words : Make 
haste, my lads. For what remissness keeps you thus so 
late ? Others are tearing down the fired towers of Troy, and 
are carrying off the spoil : you are only now on your way 
from the lofty ships. He spoke ; and as no assuring 
answer was returned he felt that he had fallen into the 
midst of enemies. He was stupefied, and at once halted 
and was silent. As one who, with heavy foot has trodden 
on a snake in the rough thicket unobserved, and in terror 
has suddenly recoiled from him as he works up his wrath 
and swells out his azure neck, just so Androgeus, trembling 
at the sight of us, was endeavouring to escape. 'We rush 
upon them, and enclose them in a dense ring of weapons, 
and we slay them flank and rear, ignorant as they were of 
the place, and panic-stricken. Fortune favours our first 
effort. Upon this Corcebus, exulting in success, and em- 
boldened in heart, says : Comrades, where Fortune first 
points out the path of safety, and where she shows herself 
propitious, let us follow. Let us change shields, and let 
us assume the Grecian armour. In case of an enemy, 
who cares whether guile or valour wins the day? they 
themselves will supply us with weapons. This said, he puts 
on the crested helmet of Androgeus, and his richly em- 
blazoned shield, and buckles to his side a Grecian sword. 
The same does Rhipeus, the same does Dymas too, and 
likewise all the rest, with glee : each arms himself with the 
recent spoils. So we go, mingling with the Greeks, but 
under auspices not our own;^ in many a skirmish we engage 

^ That is, Greek armour claimed the favour of Grecian deities, not 

368-42S] THE AENEID. 195 

during the dark night, and many of the Greeks we send 
down to Hades. Some fly this way and that way to the 
ships, and racing seek the trusty shore ; some through 
dastard fear scale once more the monster horse, and skulk 
in hiding in the well-known womb. 

Alas ! no man can safely trust the gods against their will ! 
Lo ! Cassandra, virgin daughter of Priam, was being dragged 
with hair all streaming loose from the temple and shrine 
of Minerva, raising in vain to heaven her wildly glaring 
eyes ; her eyes — for cords held tight her tender hands. 
Coroebus, his mind enraged to madness, could not stand 
the sight, and flung himself upon the very centre of the 
band, to certain death. We all follow, and rush upon them 
in close array. Hence our first reverse : we are over- 
whelmed by the darts of our friends from the high summit 
of the temple, and a most piteous slaughter ensues, through 
the appearance of our arms, and the mistake of our Grecian 
crests. Then the Greeks, through vexation and wrath for 
the rescue of the virgin, rally from all sides and fall upon 
us ; fiercest of all, Ajax, most fierce the two sons of Atreus, 
and the whole band of the Dolopians : as, at times, a 
hurricane having burst, both Zephyrus and Notus, and 
Eurus exulting in his eastern steeds, with opposing blasts 
strive fiercely together ; the woods moan, and Nereus 
rages wildly with his trident, and rouses the seas to foam 
from their lowest depths. They, too, whom in the dark- 
ness of the dusky night we by stratagem had routed, and 
chased all through the city, make their appearance ; they are 
the first to discover our shields and our counterfeiting 
arms, and from our voice take note of our appearance, 
which agreed not thereto. In fine, we are overpowered by 
numbers ; and first Coroebus sinks in death by the hand of 
Peneleus at the altar of the warrior-goddess : Rhipeus too 
falls, the very justest man among the Trojans, and the 
strictest guardian of the right : but to the gods it seemed 

196 THE AENEID. [Book 11. 

otherwise. Hypanis and Dymas die, slain by their friends ; 
nor did your signal piety or the fillets of Apollo save you, 
Panthus, as you fell. Ashes of Troy, expiring flames of 
my country ! I call you to witness, that in your fall I 
shunned neither darts nor any risks from the Greeks ; and 
that had it been fated that I should fall, I deserved it by 
my acts of bravery. Then we are forced to separate, being 
attracted to Priam's palace by the shouts of battle, Epytus 
and Pelias remaining with me, and of these Epytus was 
well advanced in years, and Pelias was disabled by a wound 
from Ulysses. Here, indeed, we behold a deadly struggle, 
as if there were no contests elsewhere, as if none were being 
killed throughout the whole city, so stubborn a battle do 
we see raging, and the Greeks rushing to the palace, 
and the gates besieged by an advancing testudo. Scaling 
ladders are fi.xed against the walls, and close to the very 
door-posts they mount by the ladder-steps, and with their 
left hands they present their shields to the weapons to 
protect themselves, and with their right they grasp the 
battlements. On the other hand, the Trojans try to tear 
down the turrets and highest roofs of their houses : with 
such weapons as these, since they see it is the end, they 
seek to defend themselves, now in their last death-struggle, 
and tumble down the gilded beams, those stately ornaments 
of their ancestors : others with drawn swords have beset the 
gates below ; these they guard in a compact band. Our 
ardour is rekindled to relieve the royal palace, to support 
our friends with aid and impart fresh strength to the van- 
quished. In the rear of the building there was an entrance 
and a secret door and a passage which afforded communica- 
tion between the different parts of Priam's palace, and also 
an unguarded postern, by which way the ill-fated Andro- 
mache,^ while the kingdom remained secure, would often go 

^ Andromache, the daughter of /Etion, king of Thebes, in Mysia, 
and the wife of Hector, by whom she had Astyanax. 

429-486] THE AENEID. 197 

to her parents-in-law without retinue, and take the boy 
Astyanax to liis grandfather. I mount to the summit of the 
highest battlement, whence the Trojans in their despair were 
hurling unavailing darts : a wooden tower standing on the 
precipitous ledge of the building, and raised high in air, with 
very lofty pinnacles, from which all Troy, and the ships of 
the Greeks, and the Achaean camp were wont to be seen, 
having attacked on every side with iron weapons, where the 
highest storeys rendered the joinings less firm, we wrenched 
from its elevated position and hurled forward on the foe. 
It, suddenly giving way, comes down with a crash, and in 
its fall spreads far over the ranks of the Greeks. But others 
take the place of the slain ; and meanwhile neither stones 
nor any kinds of missiles cease to fly. 

Just before the porch, and at the outer gate, Pyrrhus 
bounds forward in the joy of triumph, brilliant by the brazen 
sheen of his armour : such he is as when a snake, fed on 
noxious herbs — which the cold of winter kept covered be- 
neath the ground in a swollen state — now fresh, with slough 
cast off, and bright in youthful beauty, all coiled shoots forth 
to light of day his slippery body, with breast erect, and head 
that seeks the heat, and in his mouth darts to and fro his 
three-forked tongue. Along with him the great Periphas, 
and the charioteer of Achilles, armour-bearer Automedon, 
and all the youth from Scyros attack the roof and fling 
torches to its summits. Pyrrhus himself in the front, snatch- 
ing up a battle-axe, breaks the stubborn gates, and tries to 
tear from the hinges the plated doors. And now having 
hewn away the beam, he cleft the solid planks, and made a 
huge opening with a wide breach. The interior of the palace 
is now seen, and the long courts are exposed to view. The 
private apartments of Priam and of the old kings are dis- 
closed, and the Greeks see armed men standing in the 

But from the interior of the palace is heard the mingled 

198 THE AENEID. [Book ii. 

noise of sobs and pitiable groans and wild confusion, and 
the vaulted halls resound with women's shrieks : the wail- 
ings strike the golden stars. Then the matrons in terror 
wander through the great palace, and embracing the door- 
posts, cling to them and imprint kisses. Pyrrhus ^ presses 
on with all his father's vehemence, and neither bolts 
nor guards themselves are able to offer resistance. The 
gate totters by repeated blows of the ram, and the door- 
posts, prised from their hinges, tumble to the ground. A 
passage is made by sheer force : they burst open an en- 
trance, and having gained admittance, they mercilessly slay 
the first they meet, and fill all parts of the palace with their 
soldiery. Not with such resistless force does a river pour into 
the fields with surging flood and sweep over all the plains 
both stalls and herds, when in foaming spate it has o'erleaped 
its broken banks, and with its seething waters has overcome 
opposing barriers. I myself beheld Neoptolemus revelling 
in blood, and the two sons of Atreus at the entrance : I 
saw Hecuba, and her hundred daughters-in-law, and Priam 
polluting with his blood, on all the altars, those fires which 
he himself had consecrated. Those fifty bed-chambers, 
with so many hopes of descendants, those doors that 
proudly shone with barbaric gold and spoils, were levelled 
to the ground : where the flames fail, the Greeks take 

Perhaps, too, you are curious to hear what was Priam's 
fate. As soon as he saw the capture and fall of the city, 
and his palace gates demolished, and the enemy in the very 
midst of his sacred hearths, old as he was, he vainly girds 
on his tottering body his arms long time disused, and takes 
his sword, now useless, and goes against the serried foe, 
to certain death. In the centre of the palace,- and under 

1 Pyrrhus, also called Neoptolemus, was the son of Achilles and 
Deidamia, daughter of King Lycomedes. 

^ The imphtvium is meant, Priam's palace forming a square court. 

487-543] THE AENEID. 1 99 

the .bare canopy of heaven, stood a large altar, and an aged 
bay tree near it, overhanging the altar, and encircling the 
household gods with its shade. Here Hecuba and her 
daughters, like pigeons driven headlong from the sky by 
a lowering storm, were sitting crowded together, and 
embracing the shrines of the gods, all in vain. But as 
soon as she saw that Priam himself had assumed the arms 
of his youth, unhappy spouse, she cries, What infatuation 
has prompted you to put on these arms ? or whither are 
you hurrying ? The time needs far other help, far other 
defenders. No ! these would be useless, even if my own 
Hector himself were here. Come to us, I pray you ; this 
altar will protect us all, or you shall die along with us. 
Having thus said, she took the old man beside her, and 
placed him on the sacred seat. 

But, lo ! Polites, one of Priam's sons, having escaped 
death at the hands of Pyrrhus, in the midst of darts and 
of enemies flies through the long galleries, and wounded 
traverses the empty courts. Pyrrhus, in burning eager- 
ness, pursues him close with deadly aim ; and now, even 
now, he holds him in his grasp, and now touches him 
with his spear : when he at length came within sight 
and into the presence of his parents, he fell and poured 
out his life in a stream of blood. Upon this, Priam, 
though death is all around him, did not forbear, and did 
not restrain his words or his wrath : Ah, but, exclaims he, 
if there is any sympathy in heaven which cares for such 
things, may the gods return to you in full measure a worthy 
retribution, and pay you the rewards you so richly merit, — 
you who have caused me to see in my presence the death 
of a son, and have defiled a father's eyes with his corpse : yet 
that great Achilles, from whom you say, liar as you are, that 
you are descended, did not so behave to Priam, though an 
enemy : but he paid respect to the rights and the faith of a 
suppliant, and he restored for burial Hector's lifeless body, 

200 THE AENEID. [Book ii. 

and sent me safely back to my home. So speaking, the old 
man hurled his feeble dart, without inflicting a wound, for it 
was at once checked by the dull-sounding brass, and hung 
down harmlessly from the extremity of the boss of the shield. 
To whom Pyrrhus replies : "Well, then, you will go as a mes- 
senger to my father Achilles, and will let him know of these 
doings : don't forget to tell him fully of my shocking deeds, 
and of his degenerate Neoptolemus : now die. With these 
words he dragged him to the very altar, trembling and 
sliding in the copious blood of his son : and with his left 
hand grasped his hair, and with his right he raised aloft 
his flashing sword, and plunged it into his side up to the 
hilt. Such was the end of Priam's fate ; this was the final 
doom allotted to him, beholding Troy on fire, and its towers 
laid in ruins — him who once reigned in majesty over so 
many nations and countries of Asia. A large trunk lies on 
the ground — and a head torn from the shoulders— and a 
body without a name. 

But then a dread feeling of horror took hold of mc5. I 
was paralysed : the image of my dear father arose to my 
mind when I saw the king, of equal age, breathing out 
his life by a shocking wound ; Creiisa,^ forsaken, came 
to my thoughts, and my rifled house, and the danger of 
the little liilus. I look around and examine what force 
there is at hand. All have left me, utterly exhausted, 
and have either leaped to the ground, or, sick of life, have 
dropped into the flames. 

And now I was positively the only sur\ivor, when I espy 
Helen occupying the temple of Vesta, and silently lurking 
in that secluded spot ; the bright flames give me light as I 
Avander about and cast my eyes on every object. She, feel- 
ing that the Trojans would detest her on account of the fall 
of Troy, dreading punishment at the hands of the Greeks 
and wrath on the part of the husband whom she had left, 
^ Creiisa, daughter of Priam, and wife of yEneas. 

S44-6oo] THE AENEID. 20I 

common pest of Troy and of her country as she was, had 
hid herself, and now sat crouching Hke a hated thing at 
the altars. The fires of indignation were kindled in my 
heart : a wrathful impulse prompted me to avenge my fall- 
ing countr}', and take the satisfaction her guilt deserved. 
Shall she, forsooth, again behold Sparta and her native 
Mycenae in safety? shall she go in procession as a queen 
after a triumph gained, and shall she see her marriage rites re- 
stored, her home, her parents, and her children, accompanied 
by a retinue of Trojan matrons and Phrygian men-servants? 
Shall Priam have fallen by the sword ? Shall Troy have 
been burned by fire ? Shall the Trojan shore so often have 
reeked with blood ? It must not be. For though there be 
no lasting reputation in the punishment of a woman, and 
though a victory like that brings no glory, yet I shall be 
commended for having removed an abomination from the 
earth, and for having exacted due satisfaction, and it will 
afford me pleasure to think that I had taken my fill of burning 
vengeance, and had brought solace to the ashes of my 
friends. Such thoughts was I discussing, and was being 
hurried on with maddened mind, when my benign mother 
presented herself to my view with such brightness as 
I had never seen before, and amidst the gloom she was lit 
up with a brilliant halo, — every whit the goddess, as 
beautiful and as majestic as she is wont to show to 
the immortals : then she seized and held me by the 
right hand, and added these words, with her rosy mouth : 
My son, what so bitter provocation kindles your un- 
governed rage? why are you thus infuriated? or whither 
has your regard for me fled? Will you not first see in 
what state you have left your father Anchises, weak from 
age ? whether your wife Creiisa and the boy Ascanius are 
alive, around whom the Grecian troops from every quarter 
roam ? and did not my care even now interfere, the flames 
would have already carried them off, or the cruel sword 

202 THE AENEID. [Book ii. 

would have drunk their blood. It is not the hated 
person of the Laconian Tyndaris, nor is it the much- 
blamed Paris,— it is the unrelenting decrees of the gods 
— of the gods, I say— that have overthrown for you this 
kingdom, and that are now levelling Troy from its highest 
pinnacle. Look here ; for I will dissipate all the mist which 
now intervening bedims your mortal sight, and spreads 
its darkening fog around you : doubt not the commands 
of your mother, and do not refuse to obey her orders : 
here, where you see scattered masses of masonry and stones 
torn from stones, and smoke mingled with dust, ascending 
in waves, Neptune is shaking the walls and foundations 
prised up by his mighty trident, and is razing the whole city 
from its basis. Here Juno, foremost, and in her fiercest 
mood, guards the Sc^ean^ gates, and, girt with her sword, 
in frantic haste calls from the ships her allied band. 
Look round : Tritonian Pallas has now seated herself on a 
lofty turret, conspicuous to view by the halo cloud, and by 
the dread Gorgon. ^ Father Jove himself gives freely to the 
Greeks increased supplies of courage and of force, and per- 
sonally enlists the gods against the arms of Troy. Secure 
your escape, my son, and put an end to your toils. At no 
place will I be far from you, and I will bring you in safety 
to your father's door. She ceased to speak, and hid herself 
in the thick shades of night. Awful forms and mighty 
powers of heaven appear, all bent on Troy's destruction. 
Then indeed Ilium in its every part seemed to be 
settling down into the flames, and Neptune-built Troy to be 
razed from its lowest foundations ; even as when in the 
mountain summit rustics attack an aged ash, and vie with 

^ Scsean gate, one of the gates of Troy, where the tomb of Laomedon 
was seen. 

- Gorgon, Medusa, whose head Perseus cut off and presented to 
Minerva. It was placed on her regis, by which she turned into stone 
all such as fixed their eyes upon it. 

601.-657] THE AENEID. 203 

one another in their eagerness to fell it with many strokes 
of the axe ; it still threatens, and moves its shaken summit 
\Yith quivering foliage, until gradually overpowered by the 
blows, it gives one last great creak, and falls with a crash, 
rudely parted from its native heights ; I come down, and, 
under heavenly guidance, I make my way between fire and 
foes. The darts give place, the flames retire. 

And now, when I had arrived at our house and the 
dear old home, my father, whom I wished to carry first 
to the lofty mountains, and whom I first approached, 
obstinately refuses to prolong his life, now that Troy is no 
more, and to reside in a foreign land. You, he says, who 
have the blood of vigorous life, and whose energies are from 
their natural strength unimpaired — you, I say, hasten your 
escape. As for me, if the powers of heaven had wished me 
to lengthen out my life, they would have kept this home 
safe for me. I have lived to see one sack of Troy — enough, 
aye, more than enough — and have outlived the city once 
taken. Say vale to my body, thus, O thus laid out ; then 
go your way ! I myself will court death by my resistance : 
the enemy will take compassion on me, and will be 
eager for my spoils. The loss of a tomb is to me a matter 
of little moment. Now for a long time I am eking out my 
years, hated by the gods and good for nothing, since the 
father of gods and king of men blew on me with the wind 
of his thunderbolt, and blasted me with his lightning. He 
persisted in repeating such arguments, and continued deter- 
mined. AVe, on the contrary, — my wife Creiisa, and Ascanius, 
and the whole liousehold, — bathed in tears, begged that my 
father would not upset all, and purposely hasten on our 
impending fate. He utterly refuses, and sticks to his pur- 
pose — and his seat. 

Once more I rush to arms, and, utterly miserable, I long 
for deatli : for what expedient had I left, or what chance of 
hope? Father, did you think that I could take me hence, 

204 THE AENEID. [Book ii, 

and leave you thus behind ? and could such an unholy 
thought slip from a parent's lips ? If it is the will of the 
gods that nothing of so great a city be preserved, and if 
this be your fixed opinion and you find pleasure in in- 
volving you and yours in the wreck of Troy, there is a ready 
way to that death ; for Pyrrhus will at once be here, fresh 
from the streams of Priam's blood — Pyrrhus, who butchers 
the son before the father's face, who butchers that father at 
the altar. Was it for this, O benign mother, that you bring 
me safe through darts, through flames, to see the enemy in 
the midst of my sacred chambers, and to behold Ascanius, my 
father, and Creiisa by his side, slaughtered in one another's 
blood ? Arms, my men, bring arms ; their last day calls 
the vanquished. Let me at the Greeks again : let me 
return and renew the fight : never shall we all die unavenged 
this day. 

Thus I again gird on my sword : and I was thrusting my 
left hand into my buckler, bracing it fitly on, and was rushing 
from the house. But lo ! my wife, grasping my feet as I was 
departing, clung to me, and held out little liilus to his father : 
If you are going away to certain death, take us also with you 
to every risk : but if, after your experience, you have any hope 
in taking arms, first protect this house. To whom are you 
leaving little liilus, to whom your father, and me, once called 
your own dear wife ? Thus earnestly appealing, she was 
filling the whole house with her wailings ; when a portent, 
sudden and wonderful, occurs. For among the very hands, 
and before the eyes of his parents, lo ! a slight tapering flame 
was seen to emit light from the top of lulus' head, and the 
tongues of fire seemed to play on his soft hair with harmless 
touch, and to lick his temples. We hurried in trepida- 
tion and alarm to brush away the blazing hair, and with 
water to extinguish the holy fire. But father Anchises 
upward raised his eyes in joy, and lifted to heaven both 
hands and voice : Almighty Jove, if thou art influenced by 

658-720] THE AENEID. 205 

any prayers, look on us in pity : this only do we ask : and, 
O Father, if our piety finds favour in thy sight, then grant 
us help, and ratify thine omens. Scarcely had the old man 
spoken, when, with a sudden crash, it thundered on the 
left, and a star falling from heaven shot across the dark- 
ness, leaving behind it a brilliant streak of light. As it 
passes over the summit of our house, and marks its course 
in the sky, we see it distinctly disappearing in the woods of 
Ida : then a far-extending track shows a line of light, and 
the places all around emit a sulphureous steam. And now 
my father, overcome by the verification of the omen, rises 
up and addresses the gods, and pays adoration to the sacred 
meteor : Now, now I delay you not : and where you lead 
the way I am with you : O gods of my fathers, save my 
house, save my grandson. Yours is the omen : Troy is in 
your keeping. I, for my part, give in : and O, my son, I do 
not refuse to accompany you. 

He ceased to speak, and now the fires throughout the 
city are more distinctly heard, and the conflagrations waft 
the heat nearer. Come then, dear father, seat yourself on 
my neck ; with my shoulders will I support )'ou, nor shall 
that burden oppress me. However things shall issue, 
there shall be one and the same danger to both, one and the 
same safety. Let little liilus come with me, and let my 
wife follow me at a short distance. You, domestics, pay 
special attention to what I am going to say : As you go 
out of the city there is a mound, and an ancient temple of 
Ceres in a lonely spot, and an aged cypress, preserved for 
many years by the religious veneration of our ancestors. 
We shall come to this one spot from different directions. 
O father, take you in your hands the sacred things and the 
gods of our country ; it would be a heinous sin for me, just 
come from so bloody a war and from recent slaughter, to 
touch them, until I shall have washed myself in a running 

206 THE AENEID. [Book ii. 

Having thus spoken, I spread on my shoulders and 
on my neck the skin of a tawny lion as a covering, 
and take up my load : little liilus grasps my right hand, 
and follows his father with unequal steps : my wife 
comes behind us. We bear on through dark places ; and 
me whom lately no showers of darts moved, nor Greeks 
massed together to oppose me, now every breath of air 
terrifies, every sound startles, in deep anxiety and in fear 
alike for my companion and my burden. 

And now I was approaching the gates, and thought that 
I had accomplished all my journey, when suddenly the 
frequent tread of footsteps seemed to be close at hand, and 
my father, peering through the gloom, exclaims, My son, 
fly my son : they are nearing us. I see bright shields and 
glittering brass. At this point some ill-disposed deity 
entirely took away my already bewildered mind. For 
while in my flight I follow by-paths and deviate from the 
beaten tracks, alas ! I know not whether my wife Creiisa, 
torn by fate from me in my misery, stopped behind or lost 
her way, or, utterly exhausted, sat her down ; but never 
afterwards did I behold her. Nor did I notice that she was 
lost, or cast a thought upon her, till we came to the mound 
and the old and holy abode of Ceres ; here, at length, when 
all were mustered, she alone was wanting ; she had escaped 
the notice of her companions and her son and her husband. 
Whom of gods and men did not I in my frenzy upbraid ? 
or what did I see more heartrending in the city's fall ? I 
commit Ascanius, and my father Anchises, and the Trojan 
Penates to the care of my companions, and conceal them in 
a winding glen : I myself make for the city again and gird 
on my shining weapons. I determine to renew every 
risk, and again to go through the whole of Troy and expose 
my life to dangers. 

In the first place, I return to the walls, and the dark 
entry of the gate by which I had departed, and retrace my 

721-782] THE AENEID. 20/ 

way, but dimly noticed in the gloom of night, and now 
I carefully examined it with my eyes. A feeling of 
dread in every place terrifies my mind : the very silence, 
top, appals it. I'hence I turn homeward if by chance, by 
any chance, she had gone thither. The Greeks had now 
rushed in, and were masters of the whole building. Imme- 
diately the devouring fire is wafted by the wind to the highest 
roof; the flames leap aloft, a fierce heat surges heavenward. 
I advance and revisit the palace of Priam and the citadel. 
And now in the desolate porticos, in Juno's sanctuary, Phoenix 
and the dire Ulysses, chosen as guardians, were watching 
the booty : hither, from all quarters the wealth of Troy is 
gathered, saved from the burning temples — tables of the 
gods, goblets of solid gold, and robes— the spoils of war. 
Boys and terrified matrons stand all around in a long 

Moreover, I ventured to cry aloud through the darkness, 
and filled the streets with my shouts, and in plaintive tones 
I called on my Creiisa, in vain repeating her name again 
and again. As I was thus seeking her, and madly ranging 
without a pause through the houses of the city, the ghost and 
the shade of Creiisa herself, lucklessly lost to me, appeared 
before my eyes, and her image larger than \\as natural. I 
was paralysed ; and my hair stood on end, and my voice 
clung to my jaws. Then thus she addresses me, and removes 
my anxieties by these words ; My darling husband, what good 
is it to give way to frantic grief? these events do not occur 
without the will of the gods. Neither fate nor the supreme 
ruler of Olympus allows you to carry Creiisa hence as a com- 
panion. Long banishment awaits you, and you must traverse 
a vast expanse of ocean : then you will come to a western 
land where the Lydian^ Tiber, with his gentle current, 
glides through the rich fields of a brave race : there pros- 

^ Lydian Tiber: the epithet is applied to the Tiber, because it passes 
along the borders of Etruria, whose inhabitants were a Lydian colony. 

208 THE AENEID. [Book ii. 

perity awaits you, and a kingdom and a royal spouse : cease 
to weep for your beloved Cretisa. I, of the noble line of 
Dardanus, and the daughter-in-law of divine Venus, shall 
not see the lordly halls of the Myrmidons or the Dolopians, 
nor shall I go to be a slave to Grecian dames ; but the great 
mother of the gods detains me here. And now, farewell, 
and ever love your son and mine. 

With these words she left me bathed in tears, and wishing 
to say many things, and vanished in the misty air. Then 
thrice I attempted to throw my arms around her neck ; 
thrice the phantom, grasped at in vain, escaped my hands, 
swift as the winged winds, and like as may be to a fleeting 
dream. In this sad state I at length return to my 
friends, the night being gone. And here, to my sur- 
prise, I find a great number of new associates : women 
and men, an adult company, ready from home to flee, a 
motley crowd, of pity much deserving. From all sides they 
gathered, prepared in heart and means to go along with me 
into whatever country I should wish to lead them over the 
sea. By this time the bright morning star was rising o'er 
the summits of lofty Ida, and was ushering in the day; 
and the Greeks still held the entrance of the gates, beset 
with guards ; nor was there any prospect of help. I yielded 
to fate, and taking my father on my back, I headed for the 


In the Third Book ^neas continues his narrative by a minute account of 
his voyage, the places he visited, and the perils he encountered, from the 
time of leaving the shores of Troas until he landed at Drepanum, in 
Sicily, where he buried his father. — This Book, which comprehends a 
period of about seven years, ends with the dreadful storm described in 
the First Book. 

When it had .seemed good to the gods to overthrow the 
kingdom of Asia, and to expel Priam's unoffending race, and 
when lordly Ilium fell, and while Neptune-built Troy in its 
every part is smoking from the ground, we are impelled by 
heaven's indications to seek another home and lands as yet 
unpeopled; and close to Antandrus i and the base of 
Phrygian Ida we build a fleet, not knowing where the 
Fates may bear us, where we may be allowed to settle, and 
we muster our crews. Scarcely had the early summer 
begun when my father Anchises bid spread the sails to 
Fate ; and then with tears I leave the coasts and harbours 
of my native land, and the plains where Troy once stood : 
an outcast, I am borne to the sea, with my associates and 
my son, with the Penates and the great deities of Troy. 

At no great distance the favourite land of Mars is peopled 
in its spacious plains— Thracians till it— once governed by 
the stern Lycurgus,^ in sacred ties with Troy of old allied, 
and in religion kindred, while our fortune stood. To it I 
steer my course, and erect my first city on the winding 

1 Antandrus, a city of Troas, in the Gulf of Adramyttiuni. 

2 Lycurgus, a king of Thrace, son of Dryas, who, it is said, drove 
Bacchus out of his kingdom. 


2IO THE AENEID. [Book iii. 

shore, entering with adverse Fates ; and from my own name 
I call the citizens ^nead^e. 

I was performing sacred rites to my mother Venus and 
the gods who favoured my undertaking, and on the shore 
was sacrificing to Jove supreme a bullock fat and sleek. 
Near at hand there chanced to be a mound, on top of which 
were sapling-cornels and a myrtle bristling with many spear- 
like stems. I vrent forward, and attempting to tear from 
the earth the green wood, that I might cover the altars with 
the leafy boughs, I see a portent shocking to behold, and 
with a wondrous tale to tell. For from that tree which first 
is torn from the soil, with rooted fibres burst, black drops 
of blood distil and stain the ground with gore : a chilling 
shudder makes my limbs all shake, and through very dread 
my blood runs cold. Again I proceed to pull up another 
wand, and fully to explore the cause to me unknown. 
Black blood follows from the bark of the second one also. 
Turning over many thoughts in my mind, I began to worship 
the rural nymphs and father Mars, who is patron-god of the 
Thracian territory, begging them duly to make the portent 
favourable, and from the omen take the load of ill. But 
when I attempt a third wand with greater effort, and on my 
knees struggle against the opposing sand— shall I speak, or 
shall I forbear ? — a piteous groan is heard from the bottom 
of the mound, and an answering voice is borne to my ears : 
^neas, why do you lacerate my wretched body? Now, 
spare me in the grave ; forbear to stain with guilt your pure 
and righteous hands : Troy brought me forth, not an alien 
to you ; and this blood does not flow from a stock. Ah, fly 
this land of cruelty, fly this coast of avarice ! For I am Poly- 
dorus :^ here an iron crop of darts has pierced and covered 
me, and has shot up into sharp javelins. 

Then, indeed, I was horror-struck, my mind o'erwhelmed 
with double fear ; my hair stood on end, and my voice 
^ Polydorus, the youngest son of Priam and Hecuba. 

17-77] THE AENEID. 211 

clung to my jaws. This Polydorus ill-fated Priam had for- 
merly sent in secrecy — and along with him a great weight of 
gold — to be brought up by the Thracian king, when he now 
began to distrust the arms of Troy, and saw the city sur- 
rounded by a close blockade. As soon as the Trojan state 
was crushed, and fortune left it, the villain, following the in- 
terests of Agamemnon and his conquering bands, breaks 
every law, both human and divine : he slays Polydorus, 
and forcibly takes possession of his gold. Accursed thirst for 
wealth, to what do you not drive the minds of men ! When 
dread left me, I lay the portents of the gods before our 
chosen leaders, and my father especially, and ask what their 
opinion is. All have the same feeling, to quit this land of 
cruel crime, to leave a hospitality defiled by guilt, and to 
our fleet admit the winds. Accordingly, we perform funeral 
rites to Polydorus, and much earth is added to the mound ; 
altars are reared to liis Manes, in mourning decked with 
gloomy wreaths and dismal cypress ; and round them the 
Trojan matrons stand, with hair dishevelled, as the custom 
is. We present frothing bowls of new drawn milk and 
goblets of the sacred blood, and we lay the soul to rest 
in the grave, and with loud voice we raise the last fare- 

Then, as soon as they could have confidence in the deep, 
and the winds left the seas at peace, and tlie gently whisper- 
ing gales invited us to the main, my men haul down the 
ships and crowd the beach. We are wafted from the port, 
and land and cities recede from view. 

Far out at sea there is inhabited a most delightful land, 
sacred to the mother of the Nereids, and to yEgean Neptune, 
which the grateful Apollo, as it was straying round the 
bays and shores, moored fast to lofty Myconc and Gyaros,^ 
and granted that it should be inhabited in fixed position, 

' Gyaros and Mycone, two of the islands called Cyclades, in the 
^gcan Sea. 

212 THE AENEID, [Book in. 

and defy the winds. To it I am borne ; it in perfect calm 
receives us, worn and wearied, in its safe harbour. Having 
landed, we hail with veneration the city of Apollo. King 
Anius,^ at once king of men and priest of Phoebus, hastens 
to meet us : his temples bound with fillets and with sacred 
laurel; he recognises Anchises as an old acquaintance. We 
join hands as guest-friends, and enter his house. In admira- 
tion and with prayer I approached the temple of the god, a 
pile of ancient date. O god of Thymbra, grant us a home 
of our own : grant us walls of defence, and offspring, and 
a permanent city : preserve the second bulwarks of Troy, 
a remnant left by the Greeks and the merciless Achilles. 
Whom are we to follow, or whither dost thou bid us go ? 
where fix our settlement ? Father, grant us a response, and 
inspire our minds. Scarcely had I thus said, when suddenly 
all things seemed to tremble, both the temple and the outer 
courts and the sacred bay tree, and the mountain to its centre 
and in its whole circuit quaked, and the tripod boomed 
from the opened shrine. In humble reverence we fall to 
the ground, and a voice reaches our ears : Ye hardy sons of 
Dardanus, the same land which first produced you from 
your ancestral stock shall receive you restored to its fertile 
bosom ; search out your ancient motherland. There the 
family of ^neas shall rule in all its coasts, even children's 
children, and those who shall descend from them. 

Thus Phoebus : and then great joy arose, with a crowd of 
mixed emotions ; and all with eagerness inquire what city 
this may be to which Phoebus calls us in our wanderings, 
and whither bids return. Then my father, revolving the 
traditions of the men of old, says : Ye leaders, give ear, and 
learn what hopes you have. Far out to sea lies Crete, 
the island of mighty Jupiter, in which is Mount Ida, and 
the earliest cradle of our race. The Cretans inhabit a 
hundred mighty cities, most fertile realms : whence our 
^ Anius, the son of Apollo and Rhea. 

78-129] THE AENEID. 213 

ancestor Teucrus, if I rightly remember the tradition, first 
arrived on the Rhoetean coasts,'^ and chose a locality for his 
kingdom. Not yet had Ilium nor the towers of Pergamus^ 
been built ; men dwelt in the depths of the valleys. Hence 
came the mother of the gods, who dwells in Mount Cybele, 
and the brazen cymbals (of the Corybantes),^ and the Idaean 
grove ; hence came the mysterious rites, and hence, too, 
yoked lions drew the chariot of their queen. Come, then, 
and where the commands of the gods direct, let us follow ; 
let us appease the winds, and seek the Gnosian realms. 
And it is no long run ; If Jove only favours us, the third day 
will land our fleet on the Cretan coast. So speaking, he 
offered the due sacrifices on the altars : a bull to Neptune ; 
a bull to you, O fair Apollo ; a black sheep to Winter ; and 
a white one to the propitious zephyrs. 

Fame quickly spreads the news that Prince Idomeneus ** 
has fled to exile from his father's realms, and that the coasts 
of Crete are left untenanted ; that his home is without an 
enemy, and that the deserted settlement stands ready to 
receive us. We leave the port of Ortygia,^ and scud along 
the deep : we cruise past Naxos, the scene of Bacchanalian 
revels, past green Donysa,*^ Olearos, snow-white Paros, and 
the Cyclades, studding the sea, and through the straits, 
chafed by the many islets. In their varied rivalries the 
sailors' cries are raised. The crews encourage one another : 

^ Rhoetean coasts, Trojan coasts ; from Rhoeteum, a promontory of 
Troas, on the Hellespont. 

- Pergamus, the citadel of Troy ; often used for Troy itself. 

^ Corybantes, the priests of Cybele. 

* Idomeneus, king of Crete, son of Deucalion. Having left Crete 
after his return from the Trojan war, he came to Italy, and founded the 
city of Salentum, on the coast of Calabria, 

^ Ortygia, the ancient name of the island of Delos. 

^ Donysa, one of the Cyclades, famed for producing green marble, as 
Paros was for white marble. Olearos (Antiparos) was south-west of 

214 THE AENEID. [Book in, 

" For Crete and our forefathers, ahoy ! " A wind springing 
up astern, speeds us on our way, and we at length are wafted 
to the ancient coasts of the Curetes. Accordingly, I raise 
with eagerness the walls of the wished-for city, and call it 
Pergamum ; and I exhort our people, pleased with the name, 
to love it as their home, and to erect a citadel with its 
buildings. And now the ships were almost all drawn up on 
the dry beach; the youth were engaged in intermarriages, and 
on their new fields; I was ordaining laws and assigning houses; 
when suddenly, from some tainted region of the air, there fell 
upon our frames a wasting and a piteous plague, and a deadly 
time for trees and crops. Men left sweet life, or dragged 
along their bodies all diseased : then Sirius burned the 
fields to barrenness : the grass was parched, and the sickly 
grain denied us sustenance. My father urges that we should 
retrace our course upon the sea, and go again to Phoebus 
and his oracle at Delos, and beg of him a gracious answer ; 
what limit he assigns to our distressful state : whence he 
would advise to seek relief from toils, and where to veer our 

It was night, and sleep held bound all animals of earth. 
The sacred statues of the gods, and the Phrygian Penates, 
whom I had brought with me from Troy, and from the midst 
of the flames, seemed, as I lay in sleep, to stand before my 
eyes, clear and distinct in light which streamed full in through 
unclosed window-panes : then thus they spoke, and by their 
words removed my cares : What Apollo would announce to 
you, were you wafted to Ortygia, he here reveals, and lo ! 
unasked, he sends us to your door. We following you and 
your arms after Troy's destruction, we who under your 
charge have traversed in your fleet the stormy sea, we, the 
same, will raise to heaven your grandsons yet to come, and 
to their State will give imperial rule. See you prepare a 
noble city for a mighty people, and give not up the tedious 
toil of wandering exile. The site must be changed. Delian 

129-187] THE AENEID. 21 5 

Apollo has not advised this coast for you, nor has he bid 
you settle in Crete. There is a country, called by the 
Greeks Hesperia, a land of ancient story, powerful by war- 
like bravery and fertile soil : men of CEnotria once tilled it. 
Now it is said that later generations have called it Italia, from 
the name of a chief. This is the sure home (you prayed for) : 
hence Dardanus sprang, and father lasius,^ from which first 
progenitor our race is derived. Haste, arise, and with joy 
report to your aged father these words, which have no 
ambiguity : Let him seek CorythuSj^and the Ausonian land. 
Jupiter denies you the realm of Crete. 

Astonished by this vision and by the declaration of the 
gods — yet that was not a mere empty dream ; but I seemed 
to recognise full in my view their features, their hair adorned 
with fillets, and their gracious aspect : then a cold sweat 
flowed from all parts of my body — I bound from my couch, 
and lift to heaven my voice and suppliant hands, and on 
the hearth fires I pour in faith sincere a pure libation. The 
offering ended, I in joy inform Anchises, and explain the 
matter as it came about. He recognised the two-fold gene- 
alogy and the double set of parents, and acknowledged that 
he had been led astray by a second mistake^ with regard 
to the lands of ancient celebrity. Then he says : My son, 
much harassed by the Fates of Troy, Cassandra alone fore- 
told to me such issues. I now remember that she pointed 
out these lands as due to our race, and that she often called 
them Hesperia, and often the kingdom of Italy. But who 
in those days could beHeve that the Trojans were to come 
to the shores of Hesperia ? or who then paid heed to 
Cassandra as a prophetess ? Let us resign ourselves to 

^ lasius, a son of Jupiter and Electra, and brother to Dardanus ; he 
was one of the Atlantides, and reigned over part of Arcadia. 

- Corythus (Cortona), a town and mountain of Etruria, so called from 
Corythus, a king of Etruria, father of lasius. 

"* He had made a mistake before when attempting to settle in Thrace. 

2l6 THE AENEID. [Book hi. 

Phoebus, and, acting on divine advice, let us pursue a better 
destiny. So spake he, and we all with joy triumphant 
follow as he bade. This spot also we quit ; and leaving a 
few behind, we set sail, and in our hollow ships we course 
the wide, wide sea. 

When the ships have now reached the open main, and no 
land is any longer in sight, but sky and ocean all around, 
then a lurid rain-cloud collected overhead, bringing on dark- 
ness and a wintry storm, and by the " scowl of heaven " the 
water rose in curling breakers. Forthwith the winds bring 
rolling swells, and the sea-plains rise into huge billows : we 
are separated, and are tossed on the vast abyss : the clouds 
turned day into night, and the dank darkness hid the sky : 
the lightning flashes burst incessantly from the riven clouds. 
We are driven from our course, and wander blindly in dark 
and dangerous waters. Palinurus ^ even declares that he is 
unable to distinguish day from night by the heavens, and 
that he does not remember his course in the open sea. 
Thus for three whole days of doubt and danger from 
the blinding darkness we stray upon the ocean, and as 
many nights without a star. At length, on the fourth day, 
land was first seen to rise to view, to disclose the mountains 
at a distance, and to wreathe the curling smoke. The sails 
are lowered, we rise to the oar-stroke : no stop, no stay ; 
the rowers, putting forth their might, toss up the foam, and 
tear the dark-blue sea. 

The shores of the Strophades^ first receive me, rescued from 
the waves. The Strophades, so called in Greek, are islands 
situated in the great Ionian Sea; which dread Celseno^ and 

^ Palinurus, a skilful pilot of the ship of ^Eneas. A promontory in 
Italy, on which a monument was raised to him, received the name of 

2 Strophades (Strofodia and Strivali), two small islands in the Ionian 
Sea, south of the island of Zacynthos (Zante). 

^ Celaeno, one of the three Harpies, fabulous monsters with wings. 

188-242] THE AENEID. Iiy 

the other Harpies occupy, from the time that Phineus' palace 
was closed against them, and they left, through fear, their 
former haunts. No monster more fell than they, no plague 
and scourge of the gods more fiendish, ever issued from the 
Stygian waves. They are fowls in form, with a woman's 
face ; most loathsome is their bodily discharge ; their hands 
are hooked, and their looks are ever wan with hunger-crave. 
As soon as we arrived and entered the harbour, we observe 
fat herds of cattle roving up and dow^n the plains, and flocks 
of goats along the meadows without a herd. We rush upon 
them with our swords, and invoke the gods and Jove himself 
to share the booty. Then along the winding shore we pile 
up turf for couches, and begin our rich repast. But with 
sudden and with direful swoop, the Harpies are upon us 
from the mountains ; they flap their wings with deafening 
din, they seize and devour our banquet, and defile all things 
with their filthy touch ; and there comes, moreover, a hideous 
screeching, with the foulest stench. Again Ave spread our 
tables in a long recess, under a shelving rock, inclosed 
around with trees and gloomy shade, and on the altars we 
renew the fires. Again the noisy crowd, descending from 
a different quarter of the sky, and from obscure retreats, 
fly around the prey with crooked claws, and taint our viands 
with their mouths. Then I order my companions to take 
arms, and with the horrid race to wage incessant war. 
They do as they were bidden, and dispose their swords 
under cover of the grass, and hide their shields from view. 
Accordingly, when in their descent they raise a din of 
wings and voice along the winding shore, Misenus with his 
brazen trumpet gives the signal from his high look-out. 
My companions attack them, and try a novel kind of battle, 
to slay with the sword these ill-omened birds of ocean. 
But they receive neither any mark of violence on their 

The conception of these birds seems to have been derived from a com- 
bination of the features t)f the vampire l)at and the vulture. 

2l8 THE AENEID. [Book in. 

plumage, nor any wounds in their body; and mounting high 
in air with rapid flight they leave their loathsome footprints 
on the food, but half consumed. Celseno alone alighted 
on a high rock, the prophetess of evil, and from her breast 
screamed forth these warning words : Is it war, too, sons 
worthy of Laomedon, that you are about to make upon us in 
return for the death of our oxen and our slaughtered steers, 
and do you mean to drive the unoffending Harpies from 
their rightful home ? Hear these my words, and lay them 
well to heart : What almighty Jove revealed to Phoebus, 
what Phoebus told to me, I the eldest of the Furies now 
announce to you. To Italy you speed, and to Italy you 
shall go with the winds at your call, and you shall be per- 
mitted to enter the haven ; but you shall not surround the 
promised city with walls till dire famine and the wrong 
done in our slaughter shall compel you to gnaw and to 
devour for food your very tables.^ 

She said, and soaring aloft flew back into the wood. 
My comrades' blood grew chill with sudden dread, their 
spirits sank ; and now no longer by arms, but by vows and 
prayers they bid us sue for peace, whate'er these monsters 
are, whether goddesses or vengeful and ill-omened birds. 
My father Anchises, with hands extended from the shore, 
invokes the mighty powers above, and orders due offerings to 
be made : Ye gods, ward off these threatenings ; ye gods, 
avert so great a calamity, and in your gracious kindness 
save the pious. Then he gives orders to loosen the landfasts 
with all speed, and to uncoil and slip the sheet.^ The 
south winds fill our sails : we fly over the foaming waves, 
where the breeze and pilot directed our course. And now 
wood-clad Zacynthos-'' comes in sight in the middle of the sea 

^ The sense of this prediction is seen from its accomplishment in the 
Seventh Book, verse Ii6. 

- " Sheets," i.e., the ropes by which the sail was worked. 

^ Zacynthos, &c. These are islands in the Ionian Sea, on the 

243-289] THE AENEID. 219 

and Dulichium, and Same, and Neritos with its lofty cliffs. 
We shun the rocky coast of Ithaca/ Laertes' realms, and 
curse the land that reared the wretch Ulysses. Soon the 
cloud-capt summits of Mount Leucate^ open to our view, 
and the temple of Apollo, dreaded by seamen. To it in 
weary plight we steer our course, and approach the little 
city. The anchor is thrown from the prow : the sterns 
are steadied on the beach. 

Thus at length having gained scarce looked-for land, we 
make lustral sacrifice in honour of Jupiter, and we burn 
votive offerings on his altar, and we crowd the shores of 
Actium^ with our Trojan games. My comrades strip, and 
smeared with oil they engage in the sports of their native 
land : we are delighted to have safely passed by so many 
Grecian cities, and to have pursued our voyage through the 
midst of enemies. 

Meanwhile the sun completes once more the tedious year, 
and frosty winter, with its northern blasts, brings stormy 
seas, A shield of hollow bronze once worn by mighty 
Abas I fasten on the temple front, and by a verse inscribed 
I note the fact :— 


Then I give orders to the crews to leave the harbour, and 
to take their places on the thwarts. My companions, in 

western coast of Greece. Zacynthos is now called Zante. Dulichium 
was part of the kingdom of Ulysses. Same, now called Cephaloni.-i, 
the inhabitants of which went with Ulysses to the Trojan \\ar. 
Neritos, a mountain in the island of Ithaca, often applied to the whole 

^ Ithaca (Thiaki), an island in the Ionian Sea, where Ulysses 

- Lcucate (Cape Ducato), a high promontory of Leucadia (St Maura), 
an island in the Ionian Sea, where was a famous temple of Apollo. 

^ Actiuni (La Punta), a town, and a promontory of Epirus celebrated 
for the naval victory of Augustus over Antony and Cleopatra. 

220 THE AENEID. [Book hi. 

eager rivalry, with oar-stroke sweep the sea and plough the 
watery plain. Forthwith we leave behind the soaring 
heights of the Phteacians, and skirt the shores of Epirus, 
and enter the Chaonian harbour, and approach the lofty 
city of Buthrotum.^ 

Here news we scarce can credit engrosses all our thoughts, 
that Helenus,^ son of Priam, now reigns as king over Grecian 
cities, having obtained the wife and the sceptre of Pyrrhus, 
son of yEacus, and that Andromache has passed to a 
husband, once more a fellow-countryman. I was astounded, 
and my heart burned with an intense desire to greet the 
chief, and to learn such strange vicissitudes. I set out from 
the harbour, leaving the ships and the shore ; and just then, 
as it chanced, before the city, in a grove beside the stream of 
a mimic Simois, Andromache was offering her customary 
libation and memorials of her sorrow to the ashes of Hector, 
and was summoning his Manes to the tomb — a cenotaph 
of green turf, which, together with two altars, she had conse- 
crated as incentives to her tears. When she caught sight 
of me approaching, and saw around me armed Trojans, 
terrified by the startling apparition, she became paralysed 
as she gazed on me, and deadly cold : she faints, and after 
a long time with difficulty speaks : Do you come to me, 
your very self, a bearer of true news ? Are you alive ? or, if 
the light of life has left you, where is Hector ? She spoke ; 
then burst into a flood of tears, and with her cries she filled 
both earth and air. To her, frantic with grief, I scarce am 
able to reply, and, quite unmanned, I stammer forth a word 
or two : I live, indeed, and drag on my existence through 
all extremes of hardship and of danger : doubt not, for 
all you see is real. Alas ! what hap befalls you, of such a 
spouse bereft ? Or what good fortune worthy her deserts 

^ Buthrotum (Butrinto), a seaport town of Epirus, opposite Corfu. 
2 Helenus, a celebrated soothsayer, the only one of Priam's sons who 
survived the ruin of his country. 

290-333] THE AENEID. 221 

has again returned to Hector's dear Andromache ? Are 
you still the wife of Pyrrhus ? ^ With downcast eyes she 
spoke in tones subdued : O virgin daughter of Priam, 
singularly happy before others who were ordained to die at 
the tomb of an enemy under the lofty walls of Troy, and 
who suffered not the casting of the lot, nor as a captive 
touched the bed of a lordly victor. As for me, being 
carried over different seas after the ruin of my country, I 
bore the arrogance of Achilles' son and the imperious 
temper of the haughty youth, bringing forth children in my 
bondage : but afterwards, going in quest of Hermione,^ grand- 
daughter of Leda, and a Spartan marriage, he gave to his 
captive Helenus, me a captive like himself to be his wife. 
But him, Orestes,^ roused to indignation through his great 
love for his lost bride, and driven mad by the Furies, the 
avengers of his crimes, surprises when off his guard, and 
slays him at his father's altar. On the death of Neoptolemus 
a part of the realms of Pyrrhus reverted to Helenus, who 

^ This is the usual translation of the words as in Conington's edition. 
The whole passage has given critics the greatest difficulty, both as to 
the text, the punctuation, and the meaning. I am of opinion that 
lines 317 and 318 should form one sentence, and that line 319 should 
run as follows : — 

Hectoris, Andromache, Pyrrhin^ Conubia servas ? 

This I take as a double question, and translate it thus : — "Andro- 
mache, are you commemorating your marriage with Hector or that 
with Pyrrhus? servare is several times used by Virgil in a similar 
sense; see Bk. VI. 507 ; VII. 3 and 179 ; VIII. 269. The surprise 
and excitement of both parties seem to be represented by the poet in 
tlie confusion of ideas on the part of the speakers. 

- Herniione, the daughter of Menelaus and Helen, was married to 
Pyrrhus (Neoptolemus), the son of Achilles; but as she had been 
previously promised to Orestes, Pyrrhus was assassinated, and she 
then became the wife of Orestes. 

■* Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, and the faithful friend of Pylades. 
Having slain his mother Clytemnestra and her paramour Egisthus 
because they had murdered his father, he was tormented by the Furies, 
and exiled himself to Argos, the throne of which he afterwards fdled. 

222 THE AENEID. [Book hi. 

called the plains Chaonian by name, and the whole 
country Chaonia, from the Trojan Chaon, and on the 
heights he built another Pergamus and this Trojan 
citadel. But what winds, what fates, have guided your 
course ? or what god has impelled you to our coasts, not 
knowing whose they were ? What of the boy Ascanius ? 
Lives he still, and breathes he still the vital air ? whom to 

you at Troy ^ Does the boy feel keenly the loss of his 

mother ? Does his father ^neas and his uncle Hector 
incite him in any degree to the old valour and manly 
courage of the family ? 

Such questions she poured forth amidst her tears, and 
was uttering long wailings, now all vain, when Prince 
Helenus, Priam's son, advances from the city with a 
numerous retinue, and recognises his friends, and with joy 
conducts us to his palace, and copiously sheds tears at 
every word. I go forward, and recognise a little Troy, the 
towers of Pergamus on the model of the great ones, and a 
scanty rivulet bearing the name of Xanthus ; and I embrace 
the posts of a Scaean gate. The Trojans, too, at the same 
time enjoy the hospitality of the city. The king entertained 
them in his spacious halls. In the midst of the court, with 
cups in hand,^ they poured forth libations of wine, while 
the banquet was served on dishes of gold. 

And now day after day went on, and the breezes are 
inviting our sails, and the canvas is filled by the swelling 
south wind. In these words I accost the prophet, and thus 
inquire : Son of Troy, interpreter of the gods, who feel 
the inspiration of Phoebus, who understand the indication 

^ Andromache does not finish the sentence, which probably would 
have been "whom Creilsa bore to you," but some look or gesture of 
^neas may have told her that his wife was no more, as the next 
sentence refers to his loss. 

^ The cup, patera, was a hollow plate, into which they poured the 
libation from the beaker. 

334-385] THE AENEID. 223 

of the tripod and of the laurel of Apollo, who can read the 
stars and explain the language of birds, as well as the omens 
of the fleet wing,^ come tell me— for divine responses have 
spoken favourably of my remaining voyage, and all the 
gods have encouraged me by their expressed will to make 
for Italy and her remote lands ; the Harpy Celaeno alone 
predicts a calamity strange and heinous to repeat, and 
threatens wrathful vengeance and revolting famine — what 
dangers am I first to avoid ? or by following what course 
can I surmount such toils and hardships ? Upon this 
Helenus, having sacrificed bullocks, first entreats the favour 
of the gods, and then unbinds the fillets of his holy head, 
and himself leads me by the hand to your temple, O 
Phoebus, awestruck and anxious in the manifest presence 
of the deity, and then with inspired mouth he speaks as 
follows : Son of a Deity — for there is distinct ground of 
confidence that you are crossing the deep under no common 
auspices — in such a way does the king of the gods arrange 
the decrees of Fate, and regulate the circling changes of 
events ; such a series of circumstances is in process of 
fulfilment ; and in order that you may more safely traverse 
seas with hospitable shores, and reach your final anchorage 
in an Ausonian port, I will lay before you a few difficulties 
out of many : for the Parcas^ prevent Helenus from knowing 
the rest, and Saturnian Juno forbids them to tell him more. 
First of all, a far and intricate journey separates from this 
distant land Italy which you deem quite near, and whose 
harbour, in your ignorance, you think you are just going 
to enter as if close at hand. Your oars must be bent in 
the Sicilian wave, and the plains of the Ausonian Sea must 

^ The Augurs professed to tell future events from the cries of birds, 
and also from the mode of their flight. 

2 The Destinies, or Fates, deities who presided over the birth and the 
life of mankind. Tliey were three in number — Clotho, Lachesis, and 

224 THE AENEID. [Book iir. 

be traversed in your ships, and the lakes that lead to 
Tartarus, and the island of ^asan Circe, before you can 
found a city in peaceful composure. I will tell you how to 
know the site : treasure the token in your mind : When in 
your deep anxiety you shall find, under the oaks by the 
banks of a sequestered river, an immense sow lying on the 
ground with a litter of thirty young, all white herself, her 
offspring also white about her teats, that will be the spot 
for your city, that a sure rest from all your toils. But do 
not dread the eating of your tables, which is before you : 
the Fates will find a way of escape, and Apollo, duly invoked, 
will come to your aid. But avoid these (eastern) parts of 
Italy, and that coast which is washed by the waters of 
the Ionian Sea : all the towns are inhabited by hostile 
Greeks. Here the Narycian Locrians have built their 
fortresses, and Lyctian Idomeneus has beset with his 
veterans the plains of Salentum : Here is Petelia, that 
small city of Philoctetes,^ the leader from Meliboea, nestling 
beneath its wall. But when your ships have crossed, and 
have come to anchor on the other side, and when you 
have built an altar, and are now paying your vows on the 
shore, conceal your head, covering it with a purple veil, lest 
the face of an enemy should present itself among the holy 
fires whilst you are worshipping, and mar the omens. Let 
your companions adhere to this custom in sacrifice, and see 
that you adhere to it. Let your pious descendants observe 
the same rite. But when you shall have departed, and 
the wind shall have brought you to the coast of Sicily, and 
the narrow headlands of Pelorus ^ shall open on the view, hold 
to the land on the left and to the sea on the left, making a 

^ Philoctetes, the son of Poeas, king of Meliboea in Thessaly. After 
his return from the Trojan war, he settled in Italy, where he built the 
town of Petelia (Strongoli) in Bruttium. 

^ Pelorus (Cape Faro), one of the three principal promontories of 
Sicily, which is separated from Italy by the Straits of Messina. 

386-444] THE AENEID. 225 

large circuit : avoid the right, both sea and shore. It is said 
that in olden times these countries, being riven by an earth- 
quake shock — such changes can a length of time effect — burst 
asunder, though previously the two were one without a 
break ; the sea rushed in wath fury, and separated the 
Italian side from the Sicilian, and with its narrow channel 
flowed between fields and cities, severed by a strip of shore. 
Scylla guards the right side, insatiable Charybdis the left, 
and with the lowest eddy of the pit three times a day she 
sucks the vast waves into the abyss, and again tosses them 
in turn to heaven, and lashes the stars with the spray. But 
a cave with dark recesses imprisons Scylla, thrusting forth 
her mouth and sucking ships on to the rocks. The upper 
part of her body is that of a human being, and as far as the 
waist a maiden of beautiful form ; the lower part is a sea 
monster of hideous shape, having the tails of dolphins joined 
to the bodies of wolves. It is better, though it delay you, 
to round the Cape of Sicilian Pachynus,^ and to take a long 
circuitous course, than ever to see in her vast cave the mis- 
shapen Scylla, or the rocks re-echoing with her sea-green 
dogs. Moreover, if Helenus has any foreknowledge, if any 
faith is to be placed in him as a prophet, if Apollo fills his 
mind with truth, I will enjoin upon you this one thing, and, 
O goddess-born, it alone, before all others, and repeating 
it, I will warn jou again and again — as your first duty 
worship with prayerful reverence the deity of great Juno : 
with willing heart record your vows to Juno, and with 
suppliant offerings prevail on heaven's powerful queen : by 
this means, on your leaving Sicily you shall be conducted 
successfully to the shores of Italy. When you have reached 
it, and have gone to the city of Cumse, and the haunted 
lakes, and Avernus, with its echoing wood, you will visit 
the inspired prophetess, who, in her rocky home, foretells 
the fates, and to leaves commits her marks and words. 
^ Pachynus (Cape Passaro), the south-eastern promontory of Sicily. 


226 THE AENEID. [Book hi. 

Whatever verses she has inscribed on the leaves she 
arranges in order, and puts them by themselves in the cave. 
They remain in their place unmoved, nor do they change 
their order : but when, upon turning the hinge, a small 
breath of wind has stirred them, and the door has discom- 
posed the tender leaves, she never afterwards takes the 
trouble to catch the verses as they are fluttering about, 
nor to restore their order, or to reunite them. Men 
depart without a response, and detest the Sybil's ^ grot. 
Let not the loss of time, however much, be to you a matter 
of so great consequence, though your friends chide you, 
and your voyage strongly invites your sails into the deep, 
and though you can fill your canvas with a prosperous 
gale, as to hinder you from approaching the prophetess, 
and earnestly entreating her to deliver the oracles herself, 
and graciously to open her lips in speech. She will tell 
you of the Italian nations, and your future wars, and by 
what means you may avoid or endure each hardship ; and, 
when duly besought, will grant you a successful voyage. 
These are all the instructions I am at liberty to give you. 
Go, then, and by your deeds raise Troy m might to heaven. 
And when the prophet had thus spoken with friendly 
voice, he next orders presents to be carried to the ships — of 
massy gold and carved ivory ; and in the hold he stows 
much silver and caldrons of Dodona, a coat of mail made 
with hooks and chains of three-ply gold, and a helmet con- 
spicuous by its cone and waving crest — the arms of 
Neoptolemus. My father, also, has gifts appropriate to his 
taste and age. Horses, too, and pilots he gives : he supplies 
us with rowers, and at the same time furnishes our crew 
with arms. 

^ The Sibyls were certain women supposed to be inspired, who 
flourished in different parts of the world. According to Varro, the 
number of the Sibyls was ten, of whom the most celebrated was that of 
Cumre in Italy. 

445-5^3] THE AENEID. 22/ 

Meanwhile Anchises gave orders to equip our fleet with 
sails, that we might not lose the favouring gale. Then him 
the priest of Apollo addresses with courteous respect : 
Anchises, deemed worthy of the honoured love of Venus, 
favourite of the gods, twice rescued from Trojan ruins, see ! 
there is the land of Ausonia for you ; at once seize it with 
your ships. And yet you must needs pass by the part you see. 
That portion of Ausonia which Apollo opens to you lies far 
away. Go, says he, happy in the devotion of your son : why 
do I say more, and by my words retard the rising gales ? 
And with no less care Andromache, moved to sorrow at the 
last moment of our departure, presents garments embroidered 
with a thread of gold, and most especially a Phrygian 
chlamys for Ascanius, nor does she stint the honours due.^ 
Moreover, she loads him with gifts of the loom, and then 
addresses him : Take these, dear boy, memorials of my 
hands, and ever present proofs of lasting love from fond 
Andromache, the wife of Hector. O sole remaining image 
of my own Astyanax ! accept these parting gifts of your 
kinsmen. His eyes were just like yours, his hands, his 
looks ; and now he might have been a youth like you, of 
equal age and form. ^Vith gushing tears I then addressed 
my friends at parting : Live and be blessed, you whose 
fortune is now accomplished : we are summoned from fate 
to fate. To you tranc^uillity is secured : no sea have 
you to plough, no fields of Ausonia to seek, ever receding 
from the \iew. You ever look upon the counterpart of 
Xanthus, and the Troy which your own hands have built 
under happier auspices, I hope, and one which will be 
less exposed to the Greeks. If ever I shall enter the 
Tiber, and the lands that border on the Tiber, and shall see 
the walls allotted to my race, we will hereafter make of our 
kindred cities an allied people, in Epirus and in Italy, which 
shall have the same founder, Dardanus, and the same for- 
^ i.e., "her presents are such as his merits deserve.' 



[Book hi. 

tune ; — both one Troy in their affections. Be this the care 
of our posterity. 

Away we hasten o'er the sea, hard by Ceraunian cliffs, 
where hes the way to Italy, the shortest run across the 
waves. Meanwhile the sun sets, and the mountains are 
wrapped in deep shade. We lie down on the bosom 
of the wished-for earth, beside the water, having dis- 
tributed the oars by lot, and on the beach we take our 
evening meal; sleep pervades our weary limbs. Night's 
chariot, driven by the Hours, had not yet reached the zenith, 
when Palinurus springs nimbly from his couch and examines 
all the winds, and listens for a breeze. He watches all the 
stars careering in the silent sky, — Arcturus, the rainy Hyades, 
and the two Bears, and carefully observes Orion with his 
belt and sword of gold, ^^^hen he sees that in the sky all 
is composed and tranquil, from his ship's stern he sounds 
the trumpet call : we all are on the move, resume our course, 
and spread our every sail. And now Aurora, having put the 
stars to flight, was reddening to the dawn, when not far off 
we dimly see the hills and plains of Italy. Italy ! Achates 
first calls aloud ; Italy, the crew with joyous acclamations 
hail. Then father Anchises with garlands wreathed a lordly 
bowl and filled it up with wine, and standing upon the lofty 
poop he called upon the gods : Ye gods who rule the sea, 
and earth, and storms, grant us an easy voyage by the wind, 
and let its breathing speed us on our way. The wished-for 
gales then freshen as he speaks, and now the harbour opens 
to our view quite near at hand, and on a height Minerva's 
shrine is seen. My comrades furl the sails and head our 
galleys to the shore. The harbour, sheltered on its eastern 
side, is in a crescent form : the jutting rocks are lashed with 
briny spray : the bay itself is hid from view : the cliffs, in 
shape like towers, project their arms and form a double 
pier : the temple from the shore recedes. Here, as on the 
plain they grazed at large, I saw four snovz-white horses — this 

504-567] THE AENEID. 229 

our earliest omen. And then Anchises says : O land of 
strangers, war it is you offer ; horses for war are harnessed ; 
war these chargers indicate, but yet these same are wont to 
undergo the chariot, and yoked together bear the reins of 
peace : of peace too there is hope. Then the holy powers 
of ffigis-bearing Pallas we adore, who first received us full 
of joy, and at the altars with the Phrygian veil our heads we 
cover, as Helenus ordained, for this most strictly he en- 
joined that to the Argive Juno we should give the bidden 
offerings. We linger not, but at once in order due we pay 
our vows, and turn to sea the sail-clad yards, and leave the 
homes and little-trusted bounds of men of Grecian birth. 
Then next we sight the bay of fair Tarentum, built of old 
by Hercules, if the legend's true : right opposite the god- 
dess of Lacinium ^ rears her temple, and Caulon's ^ strong- 
holds rise, and Scylaceum, of ill report for wrecks. Then 
far away and high above the waves is seen Sicilian ^tna, 
and we hear the awful moan of ocean and the surge-lashed 
rocks, and on the beach the roar of falling breakers ; and the 
lowest waters to the summit boil, and surf and sand are 
mixed. Then thus Anchises : This doubtless is that 
famed Charybdis ; these the cliffs which Helenus described, 
these the dreaded rocks. Fellow wanderers, from the 
danger save us all, and with one accord rise to the oar- 
stroke. The order is at once obeyed, and Palinurus first to 
larboard turned the gurgling prow : the larboard all the 
others sought with oar and sail. Now to the heavens we 
rise on swollen wave, and then again to lowest depths we 
sink for lack of sea. Three times the cliffs their echoes 
bellowed forth among the hollow rocks ; three times we see 
the foam upheaved, and stars all dripping with the dewy spray. 

' Lacinian goddess : that is, Juno Lacinia, who liad a celebrated tem- 
ple near Crotona, a city of Calabria in Italy. 

- Caulon and Scylaceum (Squillace), both towns of Calabria, south 
of Crotona. 

230 THE AENEID. [Book hi. 

Meanwhile both wind and sun have left our weary crews, and 
to the Cyclops' shore we drift, not knowing where we go. 

The port itself is sheltered from the wind, both calm and 
large; but close at hand great ^tna thunders with her 
earthquakes dread, and sometimes vomits to the sky a lurid 
cloud, whirling in rolling eddies both pitchy smoke and living 
coal, and shooting upward balls of fire that kiss the stars ; 
and sometimes with a belch she flings aloft whole rocks and 
entrails of the mountain wrenched away, and, as she rumbles, 
pours in swirling stream to heaven the flowing lava, and from 
her lowest depths boils up, a fiery furnace. The body of 
Enceladus,^ by lightning scorched, is said to lie beneath this 
mass : and legend tells that mighty ^tna, cast upon him, 
spouts flames from opened craters ; and that should he ever 
change his wearied side, the whole of Sicily then quakes 
with rumbling sound, and shrouds the heaven in a pall of 
smoke. That night, concealed by woods, unearthly wonders 
we endure, yet cannot see what cause this hideous tumult 
can produce. For neither was there light of star, nor was 
the heaven clear with brilliant glow, but fogs obscured the 
sky, and a night of unexpected gloom involved the moon 
in clouds. 

And now the following day was coming on with early 
dawn, and Aurora from the heaven had chased the humid 
shade, when suddenly from out the woods there comes 
a human form, scarce knowable, by leanness wasted to 
the last degree, and in his mien and dress most wretched ; 
and to the shore extends his suppliant hands. We care- 
fully regard him : the filth was hideous, and the beard was 
long and shaggy, and his dress was pinned with spikes of 
thorn ; but in all else he was a Greek, and formerly, indeed, 
was sent to Troy in Grecian arms. And when, now near at 

^ Enceladus, the son of Titan and Terra, and the most powerful of all 
the giants who conspired against Jupiter. According to the poets, he was 
struck by Jupiter's thunderbolt, and overwhelmed under Mount ^tna. 

56S-629] THE AENEID. 23 1 

hand, he saw our Dardan dress and Trojan arms, distracted 
by the sight he stopped a space and checked his step ; but 
in a trice rushed headlong to the shore, with tears and 
prayers : By heaven's fire I pray you, by the gods above, 
and by the vital air we breathe, O Trojans, take me hence ; 
to any part of earth remove me ; that will be enough. I 
own that from the Grecian fleet I come, and that in war I 
sought the Trojan hearths. For which offence, if such the 
wrong I did you, fling me limb by limb upon the waves, 
and plunge me in the boundless sea. If die I must, 'twill 
please me that I die by hand of man. He ceased to speak ; 
and having clasped my knees, he writhed and wallowed at 
my feet, and would not leave. We bid him to declare his 
race and blood, and next to plainly say what evil fortune 
still pursues him. Father Anchises, without more delay, his 
right hand gives the youth, and with ready token of his 
grace consoles his mind. His fear at length removed, he 
thus begins : From Ithaca, my native land, I come ; a 
comrade of Ulysses in his woes ; Achemenides my name, 
who went to Troy because my home was poor ; and would 
that lot had pleased me ! Here, in the Cyclops' spacious 
cave, my friends forgetting, left me, while they in terror fly 
these haunts of cruelty. It is a house of gore and bloody 
feasts, all dark within and vast. In height he is a giant, 
and with his head he knocks the very stars : ye gods, 
remove from earth a plague like that — abhorrent to behold, 
forbidding to address. On flesh of wretched men and on 
their purple blood he feeds. I saw, myself, when in his cave 
reclined, with his enormous paw he seized two of our 
number and brained them on the rock, and all the ground 
was splashed and swam with gore. I saw him as he 
craunched their limbs, still dripping with their blood, and 
joints, yet warm, were quivering between his teeth. Not 
indeed for nought ; nor did Ulysses bear such wrongs, or 
did the Ithacan forget himself at such a time. For when, 

232 THE AENEID. [Book hi. 

being gorged with food and drenched with wine, he laid to 
rest his drooping head, and stretched himself throughout 
the cave in giant length, belching forth in sleep both gore 
and lumps of flesh mixed up with bloody wine, we pray 
the gods, and take the parts allotted, and all together crowd 
around him, and with a pointed stake we bore that monster 
eye, his only one, which lay half-hidden underneath his 
shaggy brow, as big as Argive shield, or sun's full disc, and 
at last avenge with joy the Manes of our mates. But fly, 
unhappy ! fly, and tear the cables from the shore. For 
savage and huge as Polyphemus ^ is, who pens in vaulted 
cave his woolly sheep, and milks their teats, another hundred 
hideous Cyclopes just like him dwell everywhere along this 
winding shore, and in the lofty mountains roam. Three 
moons have well nigh filled their horns since I drag out a 
weary life in forests and among the desert haunts and dens 
of savage beasts, and from a rock behold the huge Cyclopes, 
and tremble at their footsteps and their voice. The 
branches give a wretched sustenance ; berries and 
stony cornels and plants support me with their uptorn 
roots. Surveying all around, this fleet I first have seen 
advancing to the shore. To it I gave me over, whatever it had 
been ; enough for me to have escaped the cursed race. 'Twere 
better you should take this life by any death you please. 

Scarce had he ceased to speak when on the mountain's 
top we see himself, the shepherd Polyphemus, of size enor- 
mous, moving amidst his sheep, and making for the well- 
known shore — a frightful monster, misshapen, huge, and 
eyeless. In his hand a pine trunk steadies and directs 
his steps : his woolly sheep attend him : that his only 
pleasure ; that the only solace of his woe. Then when he 
touched the tumbling breakers and reached the deeper parts, 
he washed away the trickling blood that from the empty 
socket oozed, gnashing his teeth and moaning loud, and 
•* Polyphemus, a son of Neptune, and king of the Cyclopes. 

630-692] THE AENEID. 233 

through the open sea he stalks, nor do the billows bathe 
his giant sides. The suppliant, who had proved his worth, 
we take on board, and haste to fly far thence : in fear and 
dread we noiselessly the cable cut, and bending to the 
stroke we lash the sea with vying oars. He heard us, and 
turned his footsteps to the sound of voices. But when 
he failed to reach us with his hands, and could not, as he 
follows, equal the Ionian waves in speed, he raised an awful 
roar, by which the sea with all its waters shuddered, and 
the land of Italy was to its centre scared, and yEtna 
bellowed in her winding caves. But from the woods and 
lofty heights the whole Cyclopian crew come rushing to 
the beach in fright and line the shore. We see the 
brotherhood of .^tna standing side by side with scowling 
eyes, in vain, their heads reared high to heaven, in hideous 
council met ; just as in close array some soaring oaks might 
stand with towering tops or cypress trees laden with cones 
— a stately wood of Jupiter, or Diana's sombre grove. Keen 
terror drives us in the hottest haste to slack the sheets 
for any course, and spread the sails to any winds that 
favour our escape. But then, again, the words of Helenus 
give warning of our fate unless our ships should hold a 
steady track 'twixt Scylla and Charybdis, each a road to 
death, with little choice between : thus we determine to 
retrace our steps. But lo ! the north wind sent from 
Pelorus' .Strait comes down upon us. I pass the mouth of 
the Pantagia'', with its native rocks, and bay of Megara, 
and Thapsus lying low. These other spots did Ache- 
menides point out, partaker in Ulysses' woes, as once again 
he traced familiar shores. 

Facing Plemurium- with its wave-swept shore, there lies 

^ Pantagia, a small and rapid river on the eastern coast of Sicily, 
between Megara and Syracuse. Thapsus, a peninsula in the bay of 
Megara, north of Syracuse. 

^ Plemurium, a promontory in the bay of Syracuse. 



[Book in. 

outstretched in front of the Sicanian port an island, called by 
former men Ortygia.^ The story is, that into it Alpheus, 
Elis' river, drove beneath the sea a secret passage, and 
now unites with the Sicilian waters, rising through your 
welling spring, O Arethusa. The local deities we worship as 
desired ; and then I skirt the fertile land of moist Helorus.^ 
In onward course we "hug" the lofty cliffs and jutting rocks 
of Cape Pachynus, and Camerina heaves in sight, by oracle 
forbidden to be moved, and the Geloan plains, and Gela, 
home of tyrants, called from the river's name. Then towering 
Acragas ^ at distance shows his giant walls — once famed for 
breed of noble steeds. And you by favouring winds I leave, 
Selinus, rich in palms, and thread the Lilybaean ^ shallows, 
with danger in their hidden rocks. And next the port of 
Drepanum and its joyless coast receive me. Here, by so 
many tempests tossed, I lose, alas ! my father dear, the 
solace of my every care and ill. Here, me with labour wearied 
you abandon, best of fathers, saved in vain from dangers so 
immense. This grief to me did neither Helenus forebode 
nor dire Celceno tell, though many dreadful things they said. 
This was my latest agony, this the goal of all my tedious 
ways. Me parting thence a deity has wafted to your shores. 
Thus did ^neas, all eyes on him intent, alone record the 
gods' decrees, and tell them of his wanderings. At length 
he ceased, and having ended here he went to rest. 

^ Ortygia, a small island in which was the celebrated fountain 

- Helorus, a river of Sicily, south of Syracuse, which overflowed its 
banks at certain seasons ; also a town. Camarina, and Gela, cities on 
the southern coast of Sicily. 

^ Acragas, called also Agrigentum (Girgenti), a celebrated city of 
Sicily, built on a mountain of the same name. Selinus, a city in the 
south-west of Sicily, the vicinity of which abounded with palm-trees. 

* Lilybaeum(CapeBoeo), one of the three famous promontories of Sicily; 
also a town, now Marsala, famed for its wine of the same name. Dre- 
panum (Trapani), a town on the western coast of Sicily, near Mount Er3rx. 


In the Fourth Book Dido becomes deeply enamoured of ^neas, to whom 
she proffers her hand and kingdom ; but, on finding him determined, 
in obedience to the command of the gods, to leave Carthage, rage and 
despair take possession of the unhappy queen. At last, the sudden 
departure of ^neas leads her to a tragic death by her own hand on 
the funeral pile which she had erectei 

But Dido, long since smitten sore by love, with life- 
blood feeds the wound, and by the hidden fire is inwardly 
consumed. The many merits of the man himself, the 
glories of his race and nation, are ever present with her : 
his features are imprinted on her heart, and in her mind 
his words, and to her limbs her anxious thoughts no peace- 
ful sleep allow. 

Next morning's dawn was traversing the earth with torch 
of Phoebus, and already had removed from heaven the veil 
of mist, when, scarcely sane in mind, her loving sister 
she accosts : O Anna, sister dear, what troubled dreams 
alarm my doubting mind ! What wondrous guest is this 
who just has reached our home? How noble in his face 
and mien ! How bold in courage, and how brave in war ! 
I verily believe, nor is my faith unfounded, that of the gods 
he comes. A coward heart betrays a base-born soul. 
Buffeted, alas, by what hard fates, what ills of war drained 
to the dregs, he sang ! Were not my mind now fixed, and 
did it not remain immovable, that in no marriage bond I 

236 THE AENEID. [Book iv. 

would again unite, since my first passion played me false 
and cheated me by death ; did I not loathe the marriage- 
bed and nuptial torch, to this one frailty I might perchance 
give way. Anna, to you I will confess, after the death of 
dear Sychaeus, and since our hearth was sprinkled with a 
brother's blood, this man alone has touched my heart, and 
forced my mind to falter. I recognise the traces of my former 
love. But sooner may the jaws of earth be opened for me, 
and sooner may Jove by lightning hurl me to the shades, 
the pale, pale shades of Erebus, and to night profound, than 
that to you, O Modesty, I should do willing wrong, or break 
your sacred obligations. The man who first my heart to his 
united has carried with him my affections : let that same 
man still have them as his own, and keep them in his 
tomb. So spake she, and with bursts of tears her bosom 

Anna replies : O dearer to your sister than the light of 
life, shall you in lonely widowhood pine on through all your 
youth, and never know the joys of children, or the rewards 
of love ? Think you that ashes and buried Manes care for 
that? Grant it, no former suitors touched your heart in 
sorrow, not those of Libya or of Tyre of old : larbas ^ was 
despised, and other chiefs whom Africa has reared, for mili- 
tary glories famed : will you yet resist a love congenial to 
your taste ? Nor do you think in what a country you have 
settled down ? On one side are the Gaetulians,^ a race invin- 
cible in war, and wild Numidians, unbridled as their steeds, 
and the Syrtes, to strangers hostile. On another, the re- 
gion is a desert and unpeopled from the drought, and there 
live the Barcsei, wild raiders far and wide. Why should I 

^ larbas, a son of Jupiter and Garamantis, and king of Gaetulia, from 
whom Dido bought land to build Carthage. He was a lover of the 
queen at the time /Eneas came to Carthage. 

2 Gaetulians, Numidians, &c., the inhabitants of countries in Northern 
Africa now Algiers, Barbary, &c. 

15-76] THE AENEID. 237 

speak of war from Tyre arising, and your brother's angry 
threats ? For my part, I believe that, under kindly Juno's 
favouring care, the Trojan ships have by the wind been 
wafted here. Then such a husband yours, O, what a city, 
what a kingdom would you see arise ! With Trojan arms 
allied, to what prosperity and fame will not the glory of the 
Tyrian reach? But only ask the favour of the gods, 
and having offered sacrifice, give rein to hospitality, and 
reasons of delay contrive, whilst winter on the sea rages 
in fury, and while Orion still sends down his storms, and 
while the ships still lie a wreck, and while the skies are not 
yet fit for sailing. 

With words like these she added fuel to the flame of love, 
and to her wavering mind gave hope, and to her scruples 
put an end. First to the shrines they go and favour seek 
on all the altars : choice sheep in order due they sacrifice 
to Ceres, source of law, to Phcebus, and to father Bacchus, 
and chief of all to Juno who presides o'er marriage bonds. 
Dido herself, in radiant beauty, holding in her hand a 
goblet, between the snowy victim's horns pours wine, and 
with stately step paces before the altars in presence of the 
gods, and crowns the day with offerings, and in the opened 
breasts with eager gaze consults the panting entrails. Ah, 
blinded minds of prophets ! Can vows or shrines avail a 
frantic lover ? Passion meantime devours her very vitals, 
and in her heart the silent wound still lives. The luckless 
Dido is consumed with love, and wanders frenzied over 
all the town, just like a stag by arrow wounded, which a 
shepherd, plying with his shafts, has pierced unguarded 
amidst Cretan groves, and left in the wound — he knew it 
not — the winged steel : she flying scours the woods and 
glades of Crete, the deadly reed still sticking in her side. 
Now Dido leads .Eneas through the city, and shows 
him all the richest stores of Sidon, and a capital quite 
ready to his hand. She tries to speak, and in mid-utter- 

2^S THE AENEID. [Book iv. 

ance stops short. Now she seeks new banquets at the 
close of day, and asks to hear again the toils of Troy, in- 
fatuate, and hangs once more upon the speaker's words. 
Then after they have parted, and the darkening moon has 
paled her light, and the sinking stars invite to sleep, in 
the deserted hall she mourns alone, and on the couch he 
left she lays her down : him far away she hears and sees, 
herself afar ; or, at another time, she fondly holds Ascanius 
in her lap, charmed by the likeness to his sire, in hopes 
she may beguile her ardent love. Towers once begun no 
longer rise, nor are the youthful soldiers drilled, nor harbours 
do they make, nor moles and dykes for war. The works 
stand half suspended, the threatening walls and engines ^ 
high as heaven. 

And when Saturnia, the dear wife of Jove, perceived that 
she by such a demon was possessed, and that her reputation 
scarcely checks her frenzy, in words like these she Venus 
thus accosts : A noble victory, in truth, and ample spoils you 
bear away, you and your boy : a great and memorable name 
you'll gain if one poor female by two so crafty deities is 
overcome. Nor do I fail to see that you, fearing our city, 
have held in doubt the kindly homes of lofty Carthage. 
But say what end shall be to this, or how far must we go 
in such a struggle ? Why do we not agree to lasting peace 
and plighted nuptials ? What once you sought with all your 
heart you now have got : Dido to distraction loves, and 
through her bones has drawn the frenzied passion. This 
people then between us let us rule, and under joint authority; 
let Dido to a Phrygian spouse be subject, and as dowry to 
your hand let Tyrians be given. 

To her — for well she knew that with assumed sincerity she 

spoke, in order that to Libyan coasts she might divert the 

Italian state — in reply thus Venus said : ^Vho fool enough 

such offers to reject, or war with you to peace could choose 

^ "Engines," probably scaffolding, cranes, or machines of war. 

77-13SJ THE AENEID. 239 

in preference, if only, as you say, success would follow 
action. But by the Fates I'm kept in doubt if Jupiter would 
wish one city for the Tyrians and for Trojan refugees, or 
would approve the union of the nations and a mingling of their 
stock. You are his wife : you have the right to test his 
feelings by inquiry. Lead you the way ; and I will follow. 
Then queenly Juno thus replied : That duty shall be mine. 
Next how this matter may be carried out, take heed, Til 
tell you briefly, .^neas and along with him most wretched 
Dido mean to go into the woods to hunt as soon as 
on to-morrow's morn the sun has fully risen, and by his 
beams unveiled the globe. While beaters hasten to and 
fro and with their circling nets surround the glades, from 
heaven I'll send a scowling cloud, with rain and hail com- 
mingled, and wake the thunders over all the sky. Their 
fellow-hunters will disperse, and in some shelter dark be 
hid. To the same cave will Dido and the Trojan chief 
repair. I will be at hand, and if I have your sure consent, 
I'll bind them in a lasting bond and call her his for ever. 
There too will Hymenaeus be. Cytherea, not opposing the 
request, gave her assent, and inly smiled at finding out the 

Meanwhile Aurora rose and left the ocean's bed. The 
sunbeams having shown to view, there issues from the gates 
a band of chosen youths : nets, small and large, and spears 
with broad iron head, and huntsmen of the INIassyli,^ and 
dogs of keenest scent pour forth. At the palace-gate the 
Punic nobles wait the queen still hngering at her toilet, and 
her steed, richly adorned with gold and purple housings, 
stands in readiness, and proudly champs the foaming bit. At 
length she comes with great attendant band, clad in Sidonian 
cloak with broidered edge bedecked. Her quiver was of gold, 

^ The Massylians, a warlike people of Mauritania in Africa, near 
Mount Atlas : when they went on horseback, they never used saddles 
or bridles, but only sticks. 

240 THE AENEID. [Book iv. 

her plaited hair by gold confined, a golden buckle binds her 
purple robe. liilus also, in the height of glee, and Phrygian 
comrades in array march on. Goodliest of all, ^neas steps, 
as gallant, to her side and joins the company. Just like 
Apollo when Lycia in winter he deserts and streams of 
Xanthus, and visits Delos his maternal home, and forms 
again his choirs, and around the altars mingled Cretans and 
Dryopes ^ and painted Agathyrsi "^ shout for joy : the god 
himself on heights of Cynthus walks in majesty, and ordering 
his flowing locks he binds them with the leaves of bay and 
with a coronet of gold : his weapons on his shoulders sound : 
With no less active grace ^neas moved, and from his noble 
face an equal beauty shines. When to the hills they came 
and pathless covers, wild goats started from their rocky 
heights bound down the mountain sides : elsewhere again 
the timid stags career across the plains, and as they gallop 
on in dusty flight they gather into one their straggling herds, 
and leave the high lands for the low. -Ascanius, with a 
boy's delight, his mettled courser in the open vales fatigues, 
and in the race now these now those outstrips, and hopes 
that to his prayers be given a foaming boar amidst these 
herds that show no sport, or that a tawny lion from the 
mountains would come down. 

Meantime the heaven begins to be disturbed with rum- 
blings loud : a storm-shower follows, of rain and hail com- 
bined : both Tyrian chiefs and youth of Troy, and Venus' 
Dardan grandson, disperse in fear to different shelters all 
throughout the glades : torrents from the hills "tumul- 
tuous roar." Queen Dido and the Prince of Troy to the 
same grotto come. Then Mother Tellus first the signal 
gives and nuptial Juno : the lightnings flash as wedding 

^ Dryopes, a people of Greece, in the vicinity of Mount Oeta and 

2 Agathyrsi, a tribe in Eastern Europe, in the modern Transylvania, 
They are called /zrfz, i.e. painted or tattooed in their bodies. 

139-200] THE AENEID. 24I 

torches, and aether was a witness to the rite performed, and 
on the mountain's highest ridge the nymphs sang loud the 
nuptial song. That day first doomed her death and led to 
all her woes, for neither for appearances nor name she cares, 
and Dido now no secret love intends : she calls it marriage ; 
beneath that name she cloaked her sin. 

Forthwith through Libya's peopled cities Rumour flies, 
than whom no other scourge of men is fleeter ; by restlessness 
she vigour gains, and gathers force by motion ; through fear 
at first she's small, but soon she rises high in air, and while 
she stalks upon the ground she hides her head in clouds. 
Her, mother Earth, with gods enraged, bore last of all, as 
legend says, own sister to Enceladus and Coeus, swift of foot, 
and with untiring wings, a monster, frightful, huge, which, 
wonderful to tell, many as are the feathers on her frame, has 
watchful eyes in equal number underneath, so many tongues 
she has, so many mouths give voice, so many ears does she 
prick up. At night she flies midway 'twixt earth and 
heaven in the gloom, screeching the while, nor does she 
fold her eyes in pleasing sleep : by day she sits to spy on 
highest roof or lofty tower, and keeps great cities in dismay, 
as constant in her tales of baseless scandal as at times she 
is the herald of the truth ; she then in merry glee filled 
nations' ears with stories manifold, and facts and falsehoods 
side by side proclaimed : that ^neas, sprung from Trojan 
blood, had come, and that Queen Dido deemed it right 
to take him as her spouse ; that now the winter, how long 
soe'er it be, they spend in soft indulgence, a mutual joy, not 
mindful of their kingdoms, but by grovelling passion led. 
Such tales the foul-mouthed goddess spreads abroad, and 
makes them common talk. Still onward rushing in her 
course she turns aside to King larbas, and sets his mind on 
flame, and aggravates his wrath. 

This son of Amnion, born of Garamantis, ravished nymph, 
in his wide realms had built to Jove an hundred temples 

242 THE AENEID. Book iv. 

of enormous size, had raised an hundred altars, and had 
consecrated the wakeful fire — the god's undying guard — 
and ground enriched with blood of sheep, and portals bloom- 
ing with gay-coloured wreaths. He then, in mind distracted, 
and by the unwelcome news to rage inflamed, is said to have 
entreated Jove with suppliant hands and earnest tones before 
the altars, and in the very presence of the gods, in manner 
thus : Almighty Jove, to whom the Moorish race, at solemn 
banquet on their broidered couches, now pours the wine- 
libation, seest thou this ? O father mine ! thee do we 
vainly dread when thunderbolts thou sendest forth, and do 
thy fires in heaven, hurled with blind aim, alarm our minds 
for nought, and cause confused and harmless rumblings? 
A woman straying in our realms has built a tiny city on a 
purchased site, — to whom we gave some land for tillage and 
allowed to rule the spot, — she my lawful marriage offer has 
refused, and taken to her kingdom ^neas as her master. 
And now that Paris ^ with his weakling train, with Phrygian ^ 
bonnet^ bound beneath his chin, and perfumed locks, enjoys 
his prey ; while we, forsooth, bring offerings to thy temples, 
and in thee fondly place a groundless faith. 

Him praying thus and to the altar clinging Jove heard, 
and to the royal towers he turned his eyes, and to the lovers, 
heedless of their better name. Then thus to Mercury he 
speaks and gives command : Come quick, my son, the 
zephyrs call, and on your fleetest wing descend, and hail 

^ He calls ^neas Paris, both as effeminate, and as one who had 
carried off from him that princess whom he looked upon as his property, 
and whom he thought he had a right to marry. Hence he says at the 
end of the sentence, rapto potitur. 

^ The Phrygians were great worshippers of the goddess Cybele, whose 
priests were eunuchs. 

^ Mseonian or Lydian mitre, a sort of bonnet worn by the Lydian and 
Phrygian women, a part of dress which would have been quite infamous 
in a man, especially when it had the redimiada or fillets, wherewith it 
was tied under the chin. See ^n. ix. 14. 


-247] THE AENEID. 243 

the Dardan chief, who now in Carthage lingers, and the 
cities which the Fates assign regards not, and through the 
fleeting air these words convey : Not such his mother, 
fairest goddess, promised him to be, and not for this twice 
did she rescue him from Grecian arms; but said that he would 
be the man to govern Italy, pregnant with empires, and 
proudly fierce in war, and that he would hand down a race 
of Teucer's noble line, and bring the world itself beneath 
his sway ; and if the fame of deeds so great inspire him not, 
if for his own renown no toil he undertakes, yet as a father 
does he grudge his son Ascanius the citadels of Rome? 
What prospects has he ? or in what hope delays he with a 
hostile race, and regards not an Ausonian offspring and 
Lavinian realm ? Sail he must : this is my final : this 
message bear from me. 

He ceased to speak. The other soon prepared to do his 
sire's command : and first upon his feet he binds his 
sandals made of gold, which with their wings bear him aloft 
o'er sea or land in pace with fleetest wind : and then he 
takes his magic wand — with it he calls the pallid ghosts from 
Orcus forth to light, and others sends to gloom of Tartarus : 
with it he sleep induces and anon removes, and opes again 
the dead man's eyes ^ — on it relying he drives the wind 
before him, and cleaves his way through troubled clouds : 
and now as he flies he sights the peak and rugged sides of 
toiling Atlas,2 who ever with his head supports the globe 

^ This has reference to the Roman custom of closing a friend's eyes 
as soon as he died, and opening them when the body was placed on 
the funeral pile, in order that the dead might better see his way in the 
lower world. 

- Atlas, one of the Titans, son of Japetus and Clymene. He was king 
of Mauritania, and upon Perseus showing him the head of Medusa, he 
was changed into the mountain which bears his name. Mount Atlas 
runs across the deserts of Africa, east and west, and is so high ihat the 
ancients imagined that the heavens rested on its top, and that Atlas 
supported the world on his shoulders. 



[Book iv. 

of heaven : Atlas, whose pine-clad top is always girt with 
blackest clouds, and buffeted with wind and shower : a coat 
of snow his shoulder covers : then rivers from the old man's 
chin descend in cataracts, and his beard unkempt is stiff 
with ice. Here first Cyllenius^ halted, poised on his levelled 
wings ; hence headlong to the waters plunged with all his 
weight of body, like to a bird which round the shores and 
near the fish-frequented rocks skims low beside the sea. 
Just thus between the heaven and the earth flew Maia's 
son, and quickly passed the sandy shores of Libya, and the 
winds, from his maternal grandsire shooting down, when 
with his winged feet he reached the huts, he sees ^neas 
raising citadels, and for the old erecting newer house's : 
and at his side he wore a sword with yellow jasper 
studded, and from his shoulders hung a scarf all bright with 
Tyrian dye, a gift which Dido from her riches made, and 
interlaced the warp with threads of gold. At once he 
hails him : The foundations of a lofty Carthage is it you 
who lay, and as a woman's man a noble city build, forget- 
ful of your kingdom and the common weal? The ruler 
of the gods himself, who makes both heaven and earth 
revolve, has sent me down from bright Olympus. He 
orders me to bring these mandates through the " bound- 
ing air." What do you purpose ? or with what intent 
waste you your time in Libyan lands ? If the fame of 
deeds so great inspire you not, and if for your renown 
you take no toil, regard Ascanius, rising now to man's 
estate with all its hopes, and bethink you of your heir 
liilus, to whom by right belong the kingdom of Hesperia 
and the Roman world. Cyllenius, with such words, in act 
of speaking left aside the human form and vanished from 
his eyes far into subtle air. 

But ^neas, by this waking vision stunned, was silent. 

^ Cyllenius, a name of Mercury, from Cyllene, a mountain of Arcadia, 
where he was born. 

248-307] THE AENEID. 245 

From dread his hair stood up erect, and even his voice all 
utterance refused. He burns to get away in flight and leave 
these pleasant shores, alarmed by the warning and the gods' 
commands. Ah ! what can he do ?^ By what appeal dare 
he approach the frenzied queen ? how open up the subject? 
Now here now there his rapid thoughts he turns, and hurries 
them in this direction, then in that, and all expedients views. 
To him in doubt this seemed the better plan : Mnestheus^ 
and Sergestus and the brave Serestus he summons to his 
side, and bids them quietly equip the fleet, and call his 
comrades to the shore, and arms prepare, and artfully con- 
ceal what cause there is for this ado. He says that mean- 
time he himself, since Dido, best of women, knows it not, 
and never dreams a rupture of her love, will try to find an 
inlet and a time to speak, least painful to her feelings, and 
in the case what's best to do. All with joyful speed obey 
the word and execute his will. 

But the queen — for who a lover can deceive ? — fearing 
even all that's safe,^ foresaw the risk, and was among the 
first to learn the intended move. To her, in maddened 
state, the same accursed Rumour brought the news of fleet 
equipped and all prepared to sail. She raves, bereft of 
reason, and in wild excitement ranges the city through, like 
Bacchante at the opening of the rites to frenzy roused, when 
the triennial orgies agitate the worshippers by cry of " lo, 
Bacche," and Cithceron in the night invites them by its 
shouts. At length, though unaddresscd, in words like 
these ^€!^neas she accosts : Faithless traitor, did you hope 
that you could hide such villany, and from my realm de- 
part in secrecy ? Does neither mutual love, your hand once 

^ Literally, " to get round her." 

- These three were reputed to be the ancestors of well-known Roman 
families — the Mcmmii, the Sergii, and the Chientii. 

^ That is, " fearing everything that seemed to point to safety," much 
more every danger. 

246 THE AENEID. [Book 


pledged, nor Dido soon to die by cruel death, restrain 
you ? Nay, more, do you not fit your fleet in winter, and 
prepare to cross the deep while north winds strongest blow, 

heartless man ? What ? if you sought not foreign lands 
and homes unknown, and if old Troy remained, would 
even Troy be sought by voyage o'er the deep when waves 
are highest ? Is it from me you fly ? By these my tears 

1 pray you, and by your troth — since in my misery my 
wilful act nought else has left me — by our union, by the 
nuptial rites we entered on ; if I have done you ought of 
good, if any charm of mine e'er gave you pleasure, have 
pity on a falling house ; and if for prayer there still is room, 
I beseech you change your purpose. On your account the 
Libyan nations and Numidian kings detest me : the Tyrians 
are enraged : for you my modesty was lost, and my former 
reputation,^ by which alone I gained immortal fame. To 
whom do you abandon dying Dido, you my Guest, since 
that is now the only name I have to use instead of 
Husband ? Why do I delay to die ? Is it that PygmaHon 
my brother may destroy my walls, or that Gaetulian larbas 
may as a captive lead me off? If only I had had a child 
by you before your flight ; if I had a small yEneas in my 
halls to play, who, for all that's come and gone, would still 
recall your features, I should not feel that I had wholly 
been forsaken and betrayed. 

She ceased to speak. He, mindful of Jove's warnings, 
maintained a steady look, as if unmoved by pity, and 
struggling with his feelings, crushed his love beneath his 
heart. At length he briefly speaks : Indeed, O queen, 
I never will deny that you have done me favours which, 
great in number, you can truly tell, and while my memory 
lasts, and while the vital breath controls these hmbs of 
mine, it will ever be a joy to think of dear Elissa. On 
present matters I will briefly speak. Neither did I wish — 
^ She means, her fidelity to her dead husband's memory. 

308-365] THE AENEID. 247 

do not think I did — to hide from you by stealth this my 
departure, nor did I proffer you a formal marriage, or did 
I undertake a bond like that. Did Fate permit to order my 
after life as I should wish, and to lay my cares to rest as I 
should choose, first would I cherish Troy's dear city and 
the loved Manes of my friends, the lofty halls of Priam still 
should stand, and by my efforts I would ere this have raised 
her towers from their wreck, and for the conquered set 
them up anew. But, as it is, the Grynean god has bid me 
make for Italy : the Libyan oracles have so commanded. 
Such is my fond desire : that's my real fatherland. If the 
towers of Carthage and the aspect of a Libyan city charm 
you, a Tyrian, what ground of grudge, pray, should there 
be that Trojans settle on Ausonian soil ? To us, too, it is 
free to seek a realm abroad. Oft as Night veils the earth 
in dewy shade, oft as the fiery stars arise, the image of 
Anchises chides me in my sleep, and by its troubled look 
affrights me : Ascanius reminds me, and the wrong done 
to his dearest rights, whom now I cheat of great Llesperia 
and the kingdom due him by the Fates. Just now the 
spokesman of the gods, come straight from Jove himself — I 
call to witness both you and me — has brought his mandate 
through the " bounding air." Myself I saw the god in 
noonday light entering the city, and with these very ears 
I heard his voice. Cease to excite yourself and me by 
your complaints : Italy I seek not of my own accord. 

As thus he speaks, she now long while askance regards 
him, rolling her eye-balls here and there, and, in silence, 
scans him all from head to foot, and, roused to fury, thus 
she speaks : Neither did a goddess bear you, nor was 
Dardanus the founder of your race, you traitorous wretch ; 
but you the Caucasus, with pointed rocks, brought forth, 
and to you the tigers of Hyrcania gave suck. For why am 
I a hypocrite? or to what greater ills am I reserved? 
Did he heave a sigh for all my lamentation ? Did he 

248 THE AENEID. [Book iv. 

change a look ? Did he shed a tear, o'ercome by grief, 
or feel a pang of pity for his loving wife ? What one 
is better than another ? Now, neither mighty Juno nor 
father Jupiter regards these things of earth with honest 
eyes. In no one is there safe reliance. I took him up, 
an outcast on the shore, a very pauper, and, fool that I 
was, I made him partner in my kingdom. I saved his 
ships from wreck, his friends from death. Alas, maddened 
with rage, I am beside myself. Now, forsooth, augur 
Apollo, now the Lycian oracles, now even the spokesman 
of the gods, sent down by Jove himself, bears through the 
air these monstrous orders. Such a task, no doubt, belongs 
to gods above, such a care disturbs their peaceful moments. 
I neither detain you nor refute your words. Go and 
search for Italy by the winds, seek kingdoms o'er the deep. 
I hope, indeed, that you will drain the cup of vengeance 
to the dregs on rocks that lie between, and that by her 
name you oft will Dido call. Though far away, I will 
pursue you with torches of the pyre, and when cold death 
has parted soul and body I will haunt you as a spectre. 
Wretch that you are, you shall pay the penalty. I shall 
hear of it, and the rumour will reach me in the lowest 
shades. And then she suddenly breaks off, and sick at 
heart she flies the light and hides herself from view, 
leaving him in doubt and dread, and wishing to say much. 
Her maids uplift her, and bear her fainting to her beauteous 
chamber, and lay her gently on her bed. 

But ^neas, kind of heart, though wishing to assuage 
her grief by comfort, and by his words to soothe her 
cares, though much he sighs and wavers much through 
love, yet carries out the gods' commands, and to his fleet 
returns. And then the Trojans buckle to the work, and 
all along the shore haul down the ships. The well-tarred 
keel is now afloat, and in their eagerness to go they 
carry from the woods the oars still leafy and the beams 

366-424] THE AENEID. 249 

untrimmed. You can see them as they move and hasten 
from the city's every part. Just as when ants great bins 
of corn despoil, mindful of winter, and store it in their 
home, the dark bands cross the plains, and on their 
narrow path along the grass their prize convey : some 
in keen effort with their shoulders shove the larger 
grains : some keep the gangs together, and the loiterers 
upbraid : on all the path there is the stir of work. 
What were your feelings. Dido, when that you saw, and 
what deep sobs did you upheave when from the summit 
of the citadel you spied the shore in bustle all along, 
and when you beheld the sea one scene of turmoil and 
of loud hurrahs ? O love, that will not be denied, to what 
will you not force the minds of men ? She is driven again 
to have recourse to tears, again to try him by entreaty, 
and as a suppliant again to bow her mind to his, that she, 
about to die with disappointed hopes, may leave no plan 

Anna, you see the bustle all along the shore : they come 
from every quarter : the canvas now invites the breeze, and 
the sailors in their joy have placed their garlands on the 
poop. If I was able this heavy sorrow to foresee, I shall 
be able, sister, to bear it too. This one thing, Anna, do for 
me : for that traitor still was wont to show you friendship, 
and in you confide : You only knew the times and wa)s 
to find him in his softer moods: Go, sister, and with 
prayers address the haughty enemy : I did not with the 
Greeks conspire at Aulis ^ to uproot the Trojan race, nor 
did I send a fleet to Pergamus, nor did I from the tomb 
the ashes and the ]Manes of Anchises tear : why should 
he deny my words admittance to his ears of stone? 
whither does he rush in haste ? Let him give one last and 

1 Aulis, a seaport town of Boeotia, in Greece, where the forces of the 
Greeks assembled in the expedition against Troy. 

250 THE AENEID. [Book iv. 

only favour to his wretched lover, and wait for easy sailing 
and for favouring winds. Our former marriage rites, to 
which he has proved false, I ask no more, nor that of Latium 
fair he be deprived, and leave unclaimed his future realm : a 
breathing time I beg, and space to let my ardent passion be 
at rest and cool, until my fortune teaches me to grieve as 
one undone. This boon the last I pray for — take pity on 
your sister : and if you grant me this, with interest I will 
pay it at my death. ^ 

Thus went she on, and her unhappy sister the message 
bears and bears again. But neither, tears nor prayers can 
move the man, nor, softening, does he listen to her warm 
appeals : the Fates withstand, and heaven stops up the 
hero's kindly ears. And just as north winds of the Alps, 
with gusty blasts from this point now from that vie in their 
efforts to o'erthrow some sturdy oak with all his strength of 
years : a moaning sound ensues, and topmost leaves, by 
reason of the shaken stem, bestrew the ground : the tree 
itself still grasps the rocks, and far as with its top to heaven 
it reaches, so far with clinging root to Tartarus it tends : 
just so with arguments incessant is the hero plied, from this 
side, now from that, and in his large-souled bosom feels 
the thrill of grief : his mind remains unshaken : their tears 
are shed in vain. 

Then indeed ill-fated Dido, maddened by the Fates, 
prays eagerly for death : 'tis weariness to behold the 
canopy of heaven. The more to urge her to fulfil her 
purpose and relinquish life, she saw when on the holy 
altar gifts she laid — dreadful to relate — her sacred offer- 
ings grow black, and outpoured wine turned into foul, 

1 This is one of the most unintelligible passages in the ^neid. Con- 
ington reads dederis, and so I have translated it. Another reading 
dederit makes better sense : " if he (^neas) grant me the favour I ask, I 
will repay it by dying, and by thus relieving him from all obligation to 
me." But MS. authority izsoMts, dederis. 

425-483] THE AENEID. 25 1 

ill-omened blood. This sight she told to none, no, not to 
her sister. ^Vithin the house there was a shrine of marble 
to her former spouse, cherished by her with special honour, 
adorned with woollen fillets and with festal boughs : from 
it, when night held earth in gloom, she seemed to hear the 
voice and words of her dead husband calUng her to go : 
and the lonely screech-owl sitting on the roof oft wailed with 
death-foreboding cry, and prolonged her notes into a 
tive song : and many prophecies, besides, of ancient seers 
alarm her with tokens full of dread. And then ^neas, 
stern of look, in sleep torments her, frenzied ; and still 
she seems as left alone, as going on a weary road without 
a friend, and ever seeking Tyrians in a desert land : as 
Pentheus^ in his madness troops of Furies sees, and a 
twin sun and a double Thebes ; or as Orestes, Agamem- 
non's son, chased on the stage, when he avoids his mother 
armed with torches and black serpents, and the avenging 
Furies at the threshold sit. 

And so, when worn by grief, she took the Furies ^ to her 
breast, and resolved to die, she fixes on the time and 
manner of her death, and from her sister hides her purpose 
by a cheerful look, and wears a hopeful aspect on her face ; 
O sister, I have found a way — give me joy — to restore this 
man to me, or free me from my love. Near bounds of ocean 
and the setting sun lies Ethiopia far away; where mighty 
Atlas on his shoulders wields the heaven, bedecked with 
brilliant stars ; a priestess thence, of the Massylian nation, 
has been named to me, who kept the temple of the Hes- 
perides,^ and to the dragon gave his food, and watched the 

' Pentheus, son of Echion and Agave, was king of Thebes in Boeotia, 
In consequence of his refusal to acknowledge the divinity of Bacchus, 
he was torn to pieces by the bacchanals. 

- The Furies were three in number — Tisiphone, Mega;ra, and Allecto, 
and were supposed to be the ministers of the vengeance of the gods. 

' riesperides, three celebrated nymphs, daughters of Hesperus : they 
presided over the garden which contained the golden apples that Juno 

252 THE AENEID. [Book iv. 

sacred branches on the tree, sprinkUng the honey-dew and 
drowsy poppy. She offers by her charms to free what minds 
she Ukes, and bring on others heavy cares : to stop the river's 
flow, and backward turn the stars : she calls the ghosts by 
night : you will observe the earth to bellow under foot, and 
the ash trees to come down the mountains. O darling 
sister, I take the gods to witness, and you, and your dear 
life, that I am loth to take to magic arts. See that, in 
private, you erect a pyre within the house, and open to 
the air, and on it place his armour which, heartless wretch, 
he in the bridal chamber left, and all his robes, and the 
nuptial bed that wrought my ruin : it is a pleasure to de- 
stroy all memory of the cursed man, and so the priestess 
bids. So saying she is still : and then a deadly paleness 
all her face o'erspreads. Anna, however, thinks not that 
by these strange rites her sister cloaks her death, and fancies 
not such madness, nor does she fear more sad results than 
at Sychasus' death. Thus she prepares as ordered. 

But when within the inner court the pyre was raised on 
high beneath the open air, with pitch pines and split oak, 
she decks the pile with garlands, and crowns it with funereal 
boughs : on the bed she lays his garments and the sword he 
left behind, and an image of him, well knowing what would 
be. Altars are raised, and the priestess with dishevelled 
hair in loudest voice invokes three hundred gods, and 
Erebus, and Chaos, and Hecate ^ of triple form, three-faced 
Diana. She had sprinkled the counterfeited waters of 
Avernus' lake, and herbs of vigorous growth are brought, cut 
by moonlight with a brazen knife, and swelling with black 

gave to Jupiter on the day of their nuptials. This garden, according 
to the ancients, was situated near Mount Atlas, in Africa, and the tree 
bearing the golden apples was guarded by a huge dragon. 

^ Hecate, the daughter of Perses and Asteria, or rather of Jupiter and 
Latona : she was called Luna in heaven, Diana on earth, and Hecate, 
or Proserpine, in hell. 

484-538] THE AENEID. 253 

juice of poison : a love charm, too, is sought, torn from the 
brow of new-born foal, and seized before its mother could. 
The queen herself, close by the altar, one foot unshod and 
robe ungirt, with salt-cake and with stainless hands, on point 
of death calls on the gods, and on the stars which know 
men's destiny: next she invokes all deities who, with im- 
partial and retentive mind, take heed to lovers joined in ill- 
matched pairs. 

'Twas night, and weary creatures over all the earth were 
wrapt in calm repose : the woods and raging seas had come 
to rest ; the stars glide onward in their mid career ; then 
every field is hushed : the beasts, and party-coloured birds, 
both those that far and wide frequent the liquid lakes, 
and those that occupy the fields with thickets rough, all 
hushed to sleep in silence of the night, allayed their cares 
and soothed their hearts, forgetful of their toils. But not 
so Dido, much distressed in mind ; for not one moment is 
she lulled in sleep, nor takes she in the night with eyes or 
mind. Her anxious thoughts are doubly keen, and her 
passion rising again, rages afresh, and boils with billowy 
tide of wrath. The theme she therefore thus pursues, 
and thus she communes with her heart : Lo ! what 
do I do? Thus baffled, shall I, in turn, my former 
suitors try? Shall I humbly crave a marriage with one 
of the Numidian chiefs, whom I so oft, as lords and 
masters, spurned? Shall I accompany the fleet of Ilium, 
and to the Trojan's basest orders yield ? Is it because it 
pleases them, once rescued by my help, and that in their 
grateful hearts there still remains a sense of former kind- 
ness? But did I wish it, who will give me leave, or will 
receive into their haughty ships my hated person ? Ah ! 
lost one, know you not, nor feel you yet the fraud of 
Troy's perfidious race ? "\^^hat then ? In their departure 
shall I join the buoyant crew ? Or attended by my Tyrians 
and all my people shall I go against them, and those whom 

254 THE AENEID. [Book iv. 

I could scarcely tear away from Tyre shall I again drive 
over sea, and bid them to the wind commit their sails? 
Nay rather, die as you deserve, and by the sword avoid 
your woes ? You, sister, by my tears o'ercome, first laid on 
me this load of woe, and put me in the stranger's power. 
Why could I not have led a pure, unwedded life, as do the 
beasts, and not have meddled with such troubles? The 
faith I plighted to Sychaeus' shade has not been kept.^ 
Such bitter wailing from her heart broke forth. 

^neas, on his journey firm-ly bent, was resting in the 
lofty stern, all now being ready for a start. The god, re- 
turning in his former shape, appeared to him in sleep, 
and thus again seemed to advise him, in everything like 
Mercury, in voice and beauty, golden locks and comely 
youthful limbs ; — goddess-born, can you indulge in sleep 
at such a crisis ? See you not, O foolish one, what dangers 
next beset you, and hear you not that favouring winds now 
blow? She, bent on death, is planning in her mind deceit- 
ful plots and a fell deed, and stirs within her various 
tides of passion. Will you not instantly fly hence in haste, 
while fly you may? Soon you shall see that with her 
ships the deep will swarm, and threatening torches blaze ; 
forthwith the shore alive with flames, if the morning over- 
take you lingering on these coasts. Come, hark, away with 
all delay. "A woman's will is changeful and uncertain 
still." This said, he mingled with the sable night. 

And then yEneas, by this sudden vision startled, bounds 
from his sleep, and rouses his companions : Awake, my 
mates, in haste, and seat yourselves upon the thwarts : 
be quick, unfurl the sails. A god, direct from heaven's 
height, again commands me to hasten my escape, and 
cut the twisted cables. O gracious power, we follow you 
whoe'er you be, and again with joy obey your urgent call. 

' Some would translate thus— The faith I plighted to Sycheeus (when 
alive), has not been kept with him when dead. 

539- 6oo] THE AENEID. 255 

Be with us, pray ; in mercy aid us, and send in heaven 
propitious stars. He spake, and from the sheath he draws 
his flashing sword and cuts the hawser with the ready 
blade. Like eagerness at once possesses all. They hurry 
and they rush : they're off : the sea is hidden by the fleet : 
straining to the stroke, they toss the foam and cut the 
azure deep. 

And now Aurora, leaving Tithonus' bed, was spreading 
over earth her new-born light. Soon as queen Dido from her 
watch-tower marked the first grey light of dawn, and saw the 
fleet steering to open sea with balanced sails, and noticed 
the deserted shore and port without a rower, thrice, aye 
four times, smiting her fair breast, and tearing her golden 
locks : O Jupiter ! shall he go ? she says : and shall this 
adventurer my kingdom mock ? Will they not arms pre- 
pare, and pursue from all the city? and will not others 
from the docks haul out my ships? Go, fetch flames, 
bring darts, ply the oars. What am I saying? or where 
am I ? what madness turns my brain ? Luckless Dido ! is 
it only now that you are stung by acts of folly? They 
should have done so when you offered him your regal 
power. Is this the plighted faith, is this the honour of him, 
who, they say, carries with him his country's gods ! who 
on his shoulders bore his father, .spent with age ! Why 
could I not have seized his body, torn it in pieces, and 
scattered its fragments on the waters ? why could I not by 
sword have slain his friends, why not Ascanius himself, and 
served him up as banquet at his father's table? But of 
such a fight the chance was doubtful. Yes, it might have 
been : but once resolved on death, whom did I fear ? I 
might have fired his camp with brands, the hatches filled 
with flames, destroyed the son, the sire, and all the race, — 
then flung myself upon the pile. O Sun, who with your 
flaming beams survey all done on earth : and Juno, arbitress 
and witness of these cares : and you, O Hecate, invoked by 

256 THE AENEID. [Book iv. 

midnight bowlings through our cities where the three ways 
meet : and you avenging Furies, and you guardian gods of 
dying Ehssa, lay these things to heart, and to my wrongs 
apply your heavenly power as they deserve, and hear my 
prayers. If so it must be that this cursed man should reach 
a harbour and come safe to land, if Jove's decree so orders, 
and such an end is fixed, yet vexed by war and by a brave 
and valiant race, driven from his home, torn from liilus 
arms, may he beg for help, and see his followers done to 
death, and after he has bound himself by terms of shameful 
peace, may he not enjoy his kingdom and his life, but let 
him die before his time, and lie unburied on the open 
sand. The prayers of Dido are ended : this my latest wish 
I pour forth with my blood. And then, you Tyrians, per- 
secute the present stock and all his future progeny with 
bitter hate ; such be the offerings to my Manes you present. 
No love between the nations — no treaties let there be. May 
some avenger ^ from my bones arise, to hunt those Trojan 
settlers by fire and sword, now, hereafter, at whatever time 
they have the power. This curse I now call down : ^ let shore 

^ Such as Hannibal proved. 

2 It was an opinion very prevalent among the ancients, that the pray- 
ers of the dying were generally heard, and that their last words were 
prophetic. Thus Virgil makes Dido imprecate upon ^neas a series of 
misfortunes which actually had their accomplishment in his own person 
or in his posterity, i. He was harassed with war in Italy by Turnus. 
2. He was necessitated to abandon his son, and go into Etruria to beg 
for assistance, /En. viii. 80. 3. He saw his friends cruelly slain in 
battle, especially Pallas, JEn. x. 4S9. 4. He died before his time, 
being slain by Mezentius, according to the most authentic tradition, 
and was left unburied on the banks of the Numicus, by whose waters 
his body was at length carried off and never more appeared. 5. The 
Romans and Carthaginians were irreconcilable enemies to one another, 
and no leagues, no ties of .religion could ever bind the two nations 
to peace. 6. Hannibal was Dido's avenger, who rose afterwards 
to be the scourge of the Romans, and carried fire and sword into 

601-650] THE AENEID. 257 

be still opposed to shore, and sea to sea, and arms to arms : 
let them and their descendants fight — now and ever. 

So she spoke, and turned her mind to every point, desir- 
ing as soon as may be this hated life to leave. Then Barce 
briefly she addressed, Sychjeus' nurse, for the doleful urn 
contained the ashes of her own, in what was once her native 
home : Dear nurse, call hither to me sister Anna : bid her 
make haste to sprinkle on her running water, and bring the 
victims and atoning gifts as I directed : thus let her come ; 
and you yourself veil your temples with a holy fillet. My 
purpose is to perform to Stygian Jove the sacrifice, by which, 
duly prepared, to cease from cares of love, and to the flames 
consign the Dardan hero's pyre. She spoke : the other 
bustled off with all the zeal of age. 

But Dido, trembling with excitement, and maddened by 
her frightful purpose, rolling her blood-red eyes, her throb- 
bing cheeks sufl'used with spots, and ghastly with approach- 
ing death, burst through the inner gate, and frantic mounts 
the lofty pile and draws the Trojan sword — a gift not given 
for such a use. On this, when she observed the Trojan 
robes and well known bed, pausing awhile with sorrow and 
affection mixed, she laid her on the couch and spoke her 
latest words : O relics, dear to me while Fate and heaven 
allowed, receive this soul of mine, and from these sorrows 
free me. I have lived my life, and run the course which 
Fortune had assigned : and now a Shade of me, great and 
of queenly dignity, will go to nether realms. A noble city I 
have built ; have seen a city reared by myself : my husband 
I avenged : a hostile brother punished : blessed, ah, more 
than blessed, if but those ships of Troy had never touched our 
shores. She spoke, and pressed her lips upon the bed : must 
I die, she said, and that, too, unrevenged ? But let me die. 
Thus, thus I go with pleasure to the shades below. Let 
the heartless Dardan from the deep drink with his eyes my 
funeral fires, and with him bear the omens of my death. 


258 THE AENEID. [Book iv. 

She ceased to speak ; and midst such words her maids 
behold her fallen upon the sword, and see the sword itself 
foaming with blood, and all her hands besmeared. Shrieks 
fill the lofty courts : Fame revels wildly through the city, 
stunned and shocked ; the houses ring with lamentations, 
groans, and howling cries of women, and with the swelling 
wail the upper air resounds ; just as if Carthage or old Tyre 
beneath the entered foe were falling to the ground, and 
raging flames were spreading over roofs of men and temples 
of the gods. 

Her sister heard the cries, half dead with fear, and wildly 
rushes through the crowd in maddened haste, tearing her 
face with her nails, and beating her breast with her fists, 
and calls by name the dying queen. Was this that feigned 
device ? and did you try to cheat your sister ? was that pyre 
of yours and were those fires and altars preparing this for me? 
What first and chiefly shall I blame, abandoned as I am ? 
Your sister's company did you in death despise ? Had you 
invited me to share your fate, one sorrow and one hour had 
ta'en us both away. Did I myself raise with these hands 
that pyre, and did I invoke our country's gods, that I, hard- 
hearted, should not lie beside you on it ? O sister, to utter 
ruin you have brought us all — yourself and me, your people, 
your Tyrian nobles, and your city. Bring water for her 
wounds ; I'll wash them ; and if any expiring breath still 
flickers near, I'll catch it with my mouth. As she spoke the 
steps she mounted, and clasping her dying sister, hugged 
her to her bosom with a groan, and with her robe she 
tried to staunch the darkling blood. Dido strives to raise 
her drowsy eyes, but again sinks down in swoon : the 
wound inflicted on her breast gurgles with blood. Thrice 
rising up and leaning on her arm she raised herself; thrice 
on the bed she sank exhausted, and with her swimming eyes 
she sought to catch the light from lofty heaven, and having 
found it — heaved a heavy sigh. 

651-705] THE AENEID. 259 

Then powerful Juno, in pity for her hngering pain and 
difficult departure, sent Iris ^ down from heaven to free 
the struggling spirit from its fleshly bonds ; for, since she 
perished nor by fate, nor by deserved death, but before her 
time, through dire distress, and by sudden frenzy seized, 
Proserpina had not yet cut the golden hair from off her head, 
and made her over to Stygian Pluto. Therefore dewy Iris, 
drawing a thousand colours from the opposing sun, shoots 
downward through the sky on saffron wings, and takes her 
stand above her head : As ordered, I bear hence this lock 
to Pluto sacred, and free you from that body. She said, 
and with her right hand cuts the lock ; and at once all vital 
heat was gone, and the spirit vanished into air. 

^ Iris, daughter of Tliaumas and Electra, was one of the Oceanides, 
and messenger of the gods, more particularly of Juno. Her office was 
to cut the thread which seemed to detain the soul in the body of those 
that were expiring. She is represented with all the variegated and 
beautiful colours of the rainbow. 



In the Fifth Book ^neas sails from Carthage for Italy, but is forced by a 
storm to revisit Drepanum, where he celebrates the anniversary of his 
father's death by various games and sports. Here the Trojan women 
set fire to the fleet, which is saved by the interposition of Jupiter, with 
the loss of four ships. /Eneas then pursues his voyage to Italy. 

Meanwhile .^Eneas with purpose firm was sailing onward 
in his fleet, and ploughed the billows, darkened by the 
northern blasts, and ever and anon he to the city looked 
lit by the flames of luckless Dido's pyre. What kindled 
such a blaze he knows not ; but the pangs of blighted love, 
and the thought of what a desperate woman dares, lead the 
Trojans' minds to dismal fear. 

Soon as their ships were on the open sea, and now no 
longer land appears, but sky and ocean all around, a lurid 
cloud hovered above them bringing night and storm, and 
" in the scowl of heaven" the water rose in breakers. Then 
Palinurus from the lofty stern exclaims : Alas ! why have 
such threatening clouds begirt the sky ? or what, O father 
Neptune, do you mean ? Thus having spoken, he bids the 
crew secure the tackling, and ply the sturdy oars with all 
their might. He turns the sails obliquely to the wind, 
and thus he speaks : Magnanimous ^neas, should Jupiter 
himself be sponsor, with a sky like this I could not hope 
to reach the coast of Italy. The wind has changed, and 
now blows strong across our path, and from the murky 
west rises in force and rolls the vapour into clouds. We 
can't make head against the storm, nor even hold our 
own : since fortune overpowers us, let us follow her, and 

1-54] THE AENEID. 261 

turn our course where she invites : and I think that the 
friendly shores of Eryx and the Sicihan ports are not far 
off, if memory serve me right when I survey the stars 
observed before. Then pious ^neas said : I too have 
seen already that the winds so call, and that in vain you 
fight against them. Change the ship's course. Can any 
land more welcome be, or any whither I would sooner 
steer my weather-beaten ships, than that which holds the 
dear Acestes, and which contains the bones of my be- 
loved father? This said, they head to port, and by the 
favouring winds the sails are filled ; onward on the swell 
the fleet is borne ; and at length with joy the prows are 
turned to the familiar strand. But Acestes, having seen 
with wonder from a mountain's lofty height the arrival 
of our friendly ships, comes out to meet us, armed with 
javelins, and clad in hide of Libyan bear : him a Trojan 
mother to the god Crimisus bore.^ He welcomes our 
return in all ancestral pride, and cheers us with his rustic 
plenty, and after our fatigues consoles us with his kindly 

When with the early dawn the next bright day had 
chased away the stars, ^neas collects his friends from all 
the shore, and standing on a knoll, thus speaks : Illustrious 
Trojans, sprung from the gods' exalted blood, the circle of 
another year is now complete in all its months since we 
committed to the earth my sacred father's last remains, and 
consecrated mourning altars. And now the day, if I mistake 
not, is at hand, which I shall always count a day of sorrow, 
always to be honoured :— so have you willed it, O ye gods. 
Were I to pass this day in exile among the Syrtes of 
Gaetulia, or did I find myself far out upon the Grecian Sea, 
or in the city of Mycenae, yet would I duly pay my yearly 
vows, and lead the solemn funeral pomps, and heap the 

Crimisus, a river on the western side of the island of Sicily, near 
the city Segesta. 

262 THE AENEID, [Book v. 

altars with their proper gifts. Now, 'gainst our hopes, though 
not, I judge, without a providence divine, we find us here 
beside the ashes of my father, and have been brought to 
enter friendly harbours. Come, then, and let us do a willing 
service. Let us pray- for prosperous winds ; and, when our 
city's built, he will permit me to offer him these annual rites 
in temples to his honour raised. Acestes, noble son of 
Troy, to every ship two heads of oxen gives : invite to the 
feast your household and your country's gods, and those to 
whom Acestes prays. Further, should the ninth morning 
usher in a happy day, and with its beams reveal the earth's 
fair face, I to the Trojans will propose a boat-race as the 
earliest contest ; and a prize to him who excels in speed of 
foot, and to him who, confident in his powers, proves victor 
in the javelin-cast and in the arrow's throw, or who dares 
with untanned cestus to contend : let all be ready, and look 
for prizes for excelling skill. Let all keep solemn silence, 
and wreathe your heads with boughs. 

This said, he decks his brow with his maternal myrtle. 
The same does Helymus ; ^ the same Acestes, ripe in years ; 
the same the boy Ascanius, whom follow all the youth. 
From the assembly to the tomb he went with many 
thousands, midst great attendant retinue. Here on the 
ground he duly pours two bowls of wine, two of new milk, 
and two of sacred blood ; then scatters blooming flowers, 
and thus speaks : Hail, holy sire, once more ! Ashes, and 
spirit, and shade of my father, in vain rescued from Troy, 
hail ! Heaven would not allow that we should go in com- 
pany in quest of Italy, and the lands allotted me by fate, or 
the Ausonian Tiber, whatever kind it be. So much he said, 
when from the bottom of the shrine a huge and slippery 
snake drew forth seven circling spires, seven coils, gently 
twining round the tomb and gliding on the altars ; whose 
back was marked with spots of azure, and whose scales 

^ Elymus, a youth at the court of Acestes. 

55-"S] THE AENEID. 263 

shone brilliant with a golden hue, as rainbow flashing forth 
a thousand colours from the opposing sun. At the sight 
/Eneas stood amazed. At length the reptile, creeping in 
all his length among the bowls and pohshed goblets, gently 
touched the banquet, and, harmless, again to the tomb re- 
turned, and left the altars he had licked, ^neas with 
keener zeal resumes the offerings of Anchises, doubting if it 
were the genius of the place, or the attendant of his father. 
He sacrificed two ewes, as custom held ; two swine, two 
oxen, sable-backed ; and poured out wine in bowls, and 
called the spirit of the great Anchises, and his Manes, from 
Acheron released. In like manner his companions offer 
gifts with joy, each what he could, and load the altars, and 
bullocks slay. Others set out the brazen caldrons, and, 
stretched on the sward, light fires for the spits, and roast 
the flesh. 

And now the wished-for day had come, and the chariot 
of the sun brought the ninth morning's dawn with light both 
calm and pure : rumour and the fame of good Acestes had 
stirred the interest of the neighbouring people. They now 
were crowding to the shore in happy groups, to see the 
Trojans, some also eager in the games to strive. And first 
in the ring the prizes are exposed to view : sacred tripods, 
green garlands, and palms, the conquerors' rewards ; and 
arms and purple vestments, of gold a talent and of silver 
too : and then the trumpet from the central knoll pro- 
claims the games begun. 

Four ships selected from the fleet, in speed well-matched, 
with heavy oars, the first event take up. Mnestheus com- 
mands the speedy Pristis, with a vigorous crew, — Mnes- 
theus, soon to be the founder of an Italian race, from 
which the Memmii are called ; and Gyas sails the huge 
Chinicera, of enormous height, a city in herself, which in 
triple row the Trojan youth impel, and in tliree banks her 
oars ascend ; Sergestus, from whom the Sergian family has 

264 THE AENEID. [Book v. 

its name, rides in the bulky Centaur ; and Cloanthus in 
the sea-green Scylla, from whom, O Roman Cluentius, is 
your descent. 

Well out to sea, and in the shore's full view, there stands 
a rock which by the surging waves is lashed and covered 
at such times as the northern blasts becloud the stars : in 
calm it is noiseless, and rises from the peaceful water 
as a table-land, and a most delightful spot for sea-fowl 
in the sun to bask. Here, as a signal to the oarsmen, 
^neas raised a goal of leafy oak, by which to know 
whence to return, and where to wheel in circle in their 
lengthened course. By lot they places choose, and the 
captains are conspicuous from afar on lofty poops in 
uniforms of gold and purple. The rest of the crew wore 
wreaths of poplar boughs, and their bared shoulders, 
smeared with oil, seem sleek and shining. They seat them- 
selves upon the thwarts, their arms keen straining on 
the oars : with eagerness intense they wait the signal, and 
throbbing fear takes all their breath away, and their desire 
for glory is at highest pitch. Then, w^hen the trumpet's 
note rang out, they all shot forth without delay, each from 
his berth ; the sailors' cries ascend to heaven, the channel 
foams, upturned by arms well plied. With equal stroke 
they furrow^s cleave, and the whole surface yawns, harrowed 
by oars and trident beaks. Not with such headlong haste 
do horses in the chariot-race rush from their barriers in 
wild career and grasp the plains, nor over teams at fullest 
speed do drivers shake the wavy reins with equal zeal, 
and bend in ardour to the cutting lash. Then by the 
plaudits and the mingled din of the spectators, and the 
eager calls of backers, all the grove resounds : the 
shores, shut in by hills, pass on the cries ; the smitten 
hills send back the shouts. Amidst the confusion and the 
din, Gyas darts out before the rest, and bears away upon 
the outer waters : whom then Cloanthus follows close, with 

ii6-i8o] THE AENEID. 265 

better crew, but with a ship of ponderous bulk, whick mars 
his speed. After these, at equal distance in the rear, the 
Pristis and the Centaur strive to win the prior place. And 
now the Pristis gains, now the huge Centaur works ahead, 
now botli speed on abreast, and with long keel plough 
up the briny waves. And now they nearcd the rock, 
and almost reached the goal, when Gyas, foremost and 
victorious in half the course, thus chides Menoetes, pilot 
of his ship : Why go so far to right ? this way direct 
your course : keep close to shore, and let the oar-blade 
scrape the rocks to left : let others hold the main. He 
said : but fearing reefs, Menoetes turns his prow to sea- 
ward. Gyas, with a shout, again recalled him : Menoetes, 
where go you off the course ? keep to the rocks. And lo ! 
he sees Cloanthus pressing on his rear, and holding nearer 
land. He, between the ship of Gyas and the gurgling 
rocks, shaves through to left upon the inner tack, and at 
once shoots past, and clears the goal, and gains the open 
waters. Then, indeed, bitter vexation rankled in the very 
bones of Gyas, nor were his cheeks quite free from tears, 
and, heedless of his dignity and safety of his crew, he hurls 
Menoetes from the lofty poop headforemost in the sea : 
himself then takes the helm, as pilot and commander both, 
encourages his men, and turns the tiller for the shore. Uut 
Menoetes, by age enfeebled and loaded by his dripping 
clothes, when at length he rose with effort from the depths, 
makes for the summit of the rock, and sat him down on the 
dry stones. The Trojans laughed at him as he fell, and while 
he swam ; and now they jeer him as from his mouth he spits 
the briny water. Upon this a joyous hope was enkindled 
in the two behind, Sergestus and Mnestheus, to pass Gyas, 
now losing way : Sergestus gets his choice of water, and the 
near side of the goal, and yet he was scarce a length ahead : 
first by but part : the other part the rival Pristis with his 
prow o'erlaps. But Mnestheus, j)acing midships among 

266 THE AENEID. [Book v, 

his crew, exhorts them thus : Now, now, rise to the oar 
stroke, once Hector's men, whom as my associates I chose 
on Troy's last fatal day ; now put forth those powers, now 
that spirit which you showed in the Gaetulian Syrtes, and 
in the Ionian Sea, and Malea's ^ pursuing swells. No 
longer do I seek the foremost place, nor strive to conquer : 
though, oh the thought ! but let them prevail to whom 
you, O Neptune, have decreed success : shame forbid 
that we return the last : beat that, my mates, and save us 
the disgrace. Forward they bend with utmost strain : the 
brass-beaked galley quivers to the powerful strokes, and the 
sea is swept from beneath them : and then fast panting 
shakes their bodies and their mouths all parched with 
thirst ; the sweat, too, streams from every pore. 'Twas only 
accident that brought the crew the wished-for honour; 
for while in frantic eagerness Sergestus drives his prow 
close to the rocks inside his rival's boat, and enters in 
a space both dangerous and narrow, with evil luck he 
struck on the projecting shelves. The rocks were vio- 
lently shaken, and the oars, pressed hard against the 
jagged reefs, snapped with a crash, and the prow, dashed 
violently upon the cliffs, hung balanced. The crew start to 
their feet, and with loud cries back water, and get out the 
iron-shod boat-hooks, and poles with sharpened point, and 
on the surge pick up their shattered blades. But Mnestheus, 
joyful and made keener by success, with rapid sweep of 
oars and by a favouring breeze makes for the homeward 
slope ^ of sea, and runs to land in open water. Just 

^ Malea, a promontory of Peloponnesus, on the southern coast of 
Laconia, dangerous to navigators because of winds, and the currents of 
two seas which caused great swells. 

2 Prona viaria, "the homeward slope," seems to mean the part 
down which the waves run to the shore ; or rather, perhaps, to the 
apparent slope of the sea-plain, which to one standing on the beach 
seems to rise gradually from the land outward. See Mx\. i. 203. Virgil 
uses />ro/io anini for "down the stream." 

181-235] THE AENEID. 267 

as a dove \Yhich in a sheltering cliff has made her home, 
and placed her nestlings dear, suddenly startled in her 
nook, hastens to the fields in flight, and scared from her 
covert flaps loud her pinions, then gliding in the peaceful 
air skims on her liquid way, and never moves her nimble 
wings ; so Mnestheus, so the Pristis, self-impelled, ploughs 
with rapid speed the last extent of sea, so the very impetus 
bears on the scudding boat. And first he leaves behind 
Sergestus, struggling on the lofty rock and hidden shallows, 
and vainly begging help, and learning now to run with 
broken oars. Then Gyas in Chimera's massive bulk he 
overhauls : she gives it up since she has lost her pilot. 
And now, at the close, Cloanthus still remains, and him 
he "goes for," and presses hard, exerting all his powers. 
And then, the shouts redouble from the shore, and all 
with hearty plaudits add keenness to the chase ; and with 
the wild uproar the heaven rings again. These deem it a 
disgrace if glory now their own, and honour, good as 
won, they cannot keep, and are prepared to peril life for 
victory : the others are encouraged by success : they can, 
because they think they can ; and probably they would ha^•e 
prizes gained with level prows,^ had not Cloanthus, stretch- 
ing o'er the deep his folded hands, poured forth his 
prayers and called the gods by vows : Ye gods, who rule 
the ocean, whose plains I speed across, to you, my wish 
obtained, 2 I joyfully on yonder shore will place before your 
altars a bull of snowy whiteness, and on the briny waves 
will cast the entrails and libations of pure wine. He spoke; 
and all the choir of Nereids and of Phorcus,^ and the virgin 

^ i.e., "they would have tied for the prize." 

^ He is said to be reus voti who has undertaken a vow on a certain 
condition; and when that condition is fulfdled, then \\&\% davniatits 
voti, or voiis, — i.e., the gods condemn and sentence him to pay his vow. 

* Phorcus, a sea-deity, son of Pontus anil Terra, and father of the 

268 THE AENEID. [Book v, 

Panopea, heard him from beneath the depths ; and father 
Portunus ^ himself, with his powerful hand, gave increase to 
his speed : the ship, swifter than the south wind or a fleet 
arrow, flies to land, and in the spacious harbour was at 
once laid up. Then JEneas, having duly summoned all, 
declares Cloanthus victor, by loud voice of herald, and 
wreathes his brow with verdant bay, and bids him choose, 
as presents to the ships, three bullocks, and carry with 
him stores of wine, and a silver talent's heavy weight. To 
the commanders he further gives especial honours : to the 
victor, a gold embroidered cloak, round which there ran in 
rich profusion Melibaean purple in a double cord of wavy 
line. And pictured there the royal boy ^ seems keenly to 
pursue the nimble stags with hound and dart on leafy Ida, 
like one who pants for breath, whom Jove's w-inged armour- 
bearer bore from Ida with his crooked claws. In vain 
the aged guards stretch hands to heaven, and the baying 
of the dogs roars high in air. But to him who won the 
second place he gives to keep, as ornament and safe 
defence in war, a coat of mail, made up with plates 
and three-ply chains of gold, which he himself had torn 
from Demoleus, when he had slain him near the rapid 
Simois, close to lofty Ilium. It, with its many rows of 
chains and plates, his servants, Phegeus and Sagaris can 
scarcely bear, exerting all their strength : but in days of 
old, Demoleus, with it on, would chase in flight the 
straggling Trojans. As the third prize, he gives two golden 
caldrons and silver boats in high relief embossed. And 
now had all their gifts received, and were departing proud of 
rich rewards, their temples bound with purple ribbon, 
when Sergestus, with difficulty hauled from off the cruel 

1 Portunus, a name of Melicertes, or Palcemon, son of Athamas and 

- The royal boy, viz. Ganymede, son of Tros, taken up to heaven 
to be Jove's cupbearer. 

236-295] THE AENEID. 269 

rock even with much skill, with loss of oars and in part dis- 
abled, was bringing in his galley, jeered at and prizeless. 
Just as at times a snake is wont to act when caught 
unwary on the road— over which the iron-shod wheel 
has passed aslant, and which the traveller dealing heavy 
blows has left half-dead and battered with a stone — trying 
to escape, he rolls his body into lengthy coils, in one part 
fiercely defiant, flashing fire from his eyes, and raising his 
hissing crest aloft : the wounded part retards him twining 
into knots, and folding himself within himself. With such 
an oarage the ship moved slowly : but yet she spreads her 
canvas, and enters harbour with her sails all set. yEneas 
presents Sergestus with the promised prize, rejoiced at safe 
return of ship and crew. To him a female slave is given, 
well versed in needlework and in the loom, Pholoe her 
name, by birth a Cretan, and at her breast twin boys were 

This contest ended, ^neas to a grassy plain repairs 
which woods with curving hills on all sides bound ; and in 
the middle of the glen there was a circus, to which resort 
the hero went with many thousands, and on the raised 
tribunal sat him down. Here, to whet the minds of those 
who may be inclined to strive in speed of foot, he offers 
gifts of value, and sets forth rewards. From all sides there 
assembled Trojans and Sicanians mingled, Nisus and 
Euryalus ^ the first, — Euryalus, conspicuous for his hand- 
some figure and his bloom of youth ; Nisus, noted for his 
pure affection for the boy : and next to them came Diores 
of royal race, from noble stock of Priam : him followed 
Salius and Patron, one of whom was an Acarnanian, the 

^ Nisus and Euryalus, two Trojans wlio accompanied /Eneas tultaly, 
and immortalised themselves by their mutual friendship. They fought 
with great bravery against the Rutulians, but at last Nisus perished in 
attempting the rescue of his friend Euryalus, who had fallen into the 
enemy's hands. 

270 THE AENEID. [Book v. 

other of Arcadian blood of Tegea : then two Trinacrian 
youths, Helymus and Panopes, accustomed to the woods, 
companions of the old Acestes : and many more whom 
hazy rumour has debarred from fame. Then in the midst 
of them ^neas spoke : Hear my words, and to cheer 
your minds give heed. No one of all shall leave without 
a gift from me. I'll give to each to bear away two 
Gnosian ^ darts of brightly polished steel, and a battle- 
axe with silver carving : this same distinction shall belong 
to all alike. The foremost three the prizes shall receive, 
and shall wreathe their heads with yellow olive.^ The 
first shall have a steed with richest trappings drest ; the 
second an Amazonian ^ quiver filled with Thracian arrows, 
which a belt with massive gilding circles, and a brooch 
with polished gem holds fast ; the third this Grecian 
helmet shall content. When he had spoken thus they 
take their ground, and at signal given, they leave the line 
and seize the course, dashing forth like whirlwind, while 
they mark the final goal. Nisus first breaks away, and 
darts ahead far before all, swifter than the winds and winged 
lightning. Next to him, but next at distance great, Salius 
pursues ; then in the space behind Euryalus comes third, 
and Helymus succeeds Euryalus; close upon him Diores 
flies, and now rubs heel with heel, over his shoulder bent ; 
and if more rounds had been to go he would have come 
out in front, and left his rival in the rear.'* And now being 

^ Gnosian darts, i.e. Cretan darts, from Cnosus, or Gnosus, a city 
of Crete. 

^ Yellow olive. "A very remarkable characteristic of the olive is 
its yellow pollen, which it sheds so copiously in the flowering season as 
to cover not only the leaves, trunk, and branches -of the tree, but even 
the ground and neighbouring objects with a yellow dust." — Hemy. 

^ Amazonian quivers. The Amazons were a warlike nation of women, 
who lived near the river Thermodon in Pontus, in Asia Minor. 

•* Some interpret — " would have left the issue doubtful ;" i.e. would 
have made it "a draw." 

296-350] THE AENEID. 2/1 

almost at the end and wearied out, they neared the goal, 
when luckless Nisus falls in clammy gore, which, as it 
happened, spilt on the ground from victims slain, had 
soaked the verdant grass. And here the youth, exulting 
in success, kept not his footing, which gave way beneath his 
heavy tread, but on his face he fell in filthy ordure and in 
sacred blood, yet not forgetful he of Euryalus or of his 
affections ; for, rising on the slippery ground, he threw 
himself in way of Salius, while he, in turn, rolled over in 
the dusty mould. Euryalus bounds forward, and victorious, 
thanks to his friend, gains foremost place, and midst the 
cheers and plaudits of the crowd he flies to goal. Next 
Helymus comes up, and now Diores, third to win. Then 
Salius fills the ample pit and benches of the Fathers with 
loud demands and claims that the prize, snatched from his 
grasp by means unfair, should be now restored. The 
people's favour protects Euryalus, and his bemoaning tears 
and merit, which appear more pleasing in a handsome form, 
Diores seconds him, and with loud voice appeals, he who 
for a prize came next, and who in vain obtained the last 
reward if to Salius the first be given. Then father .'Eneas 
said : Your rewards, my lads, remain to each assured, and 
no one thinks to disturb the order of the prizes : 'tis mine 
to show my sorrow for my blameless friend's mishap. 
This said, he gives to Salius the hide of a Gaetulian lion, 
ponderous with shaggy fur and gilded claws. Upon this 
Nisus says : If to the vanquished rewards like these be 
given, and pity reaches those that fell, what gifts are due to 
Nisus? who by my merit won the first, had not hostile 
fortune which baffled Salius marred me also. And v/hile 
he spoke, he showed his sorry plight, and his limbs be- 
smeared with oozy filth. The good /Eneas smiled to see 
him, and ordered a buckler to be brought, a masterpiece 
of Didymaon, torn from the sacred posts of Neptune's 

2/2 THE AENEID. [Book v. 

temple, and taken from the Greeks. This prize of noted 
worth he gives the noble youth. 

The race being finished, and the prizes dealt to all, he 
says: Now let those come on who claim some merit in the 
art, and who possess a cool and fearless mind, and let them 
wield their arms with gauntlets bound. So speaks he, and 
proclaims two prizes for the contest : to him who wins, a 
bullock decked with gold and fillets ; a sword, and shining 
helm the solace of the vanquished. 

Without delay Dares presents himself in all his huge 
proportions, and rises to his height, amidst a buzz of 
wonder from the crowd : he who alone was wont to 
strive with Paris, and who at the tomb where mighty 
Hector lies, felled with a blow the champion Butes, and 
stretched him dying on the yellow strand, — Butes, who 
coming from the race of Amycus the Bebrycian, stalked 
along with giant bulk. Then such in size does Dares 
raise his towering head as prelude to the fight, and shows 
to view his breadth of shoulders, and tosses his arms, pro- 
jecting them alternately, and with his blows buffets the air. 
No rival offers : and no one from so great a throng dares 
face the man, and put the gauntlets on his hands. So 
deeming all decline the strife, he stood with forward eager- 
ness before ^neas, and then, without ado, he on the horns 
lays hold and speaks as follows : Goddess-born, if no one 
dares the fight to risk, how long am I to stand ? how long 
to be detained ? Bid me lead off the prize. The Trojans 
all with one accord murmured their assent, and wished 
the hero to receive the promised gift. Then Acestes with 
earnest words thus chides Entellus as he sat beside him on 
the grassy couch : Entellus, once the bravest of the brave, 
and all for nought, will you so quietly allow such prizes to 
be taken hence without a contest ? Where now is Eryx, 
that god of yours, in vain recorded as your master ? Where 
is your fame, through all Trinacria known, and these 

351-413] THE AENEID, 273 

noble trophies hanging in your hall ? In reply the other 
said : My love of glory has not left me, nor is pride of 
victory by fear dispelled ; but my blood, cooled down 
by slowing age, has lost its force, and my powers of body, 
fruitless now, are numbed and dull. If I had yet that 
youthful buoyancy which once I had, and in which that 
shameless braggart there so confidently boasts, I would have 
met him, though not induced by gain and by the noble 
bull, for prizes I regard not. This said, he threw into the 
ring two gloves in weight enormous, with which fierce Eryx 
in his day was wont to bear him to the fight, and brace his 
arms with hardened hide. Men stood aghast ; for seven 
huge skins of oxen so immense were stiffened with iron 
enclosed, and with leaden studs. Above all others. Dares 
is amazed, and " out and out " declines the fight ; 
-^neas feels the weight, and turns in this way and in that 
the endless folds of straps. Then thus the older champion 
spoke : What, had you seen the caestus with which 
Hercules himself was armed, and had beheld the lamentable'^ 
battle on this very shore ? Your brother Eryx - wore these 
arms in former times. They still are stained with blood and 
scattered brains. With these he faced the great Alcides. 
These I was wont to use in better days, when younger blood 
gave strength, nor yet had envious age begun to scatter 
hoary hairs upon my brow. But if the Trojan Dares 
declines these gloves, if it so please the good ^neas, and 
if my friend Acestes yields, let us equalise the fight. In 
deference to you I tlirow aside the arms of Eryx : dismiss 
your fears : now you put off the Trojan caestus. So speak- 
ing, he flung his doublet from his shoulders, and bared huge 
limbs and joints, his great bones and sinewy arms, and in the 
middle of the ring stood forth in all his massive bulk. Then 

^ The combat is called tristis, lamentable, or bloody, because Eryx 
was slain in it by Hercules. 

- Eryx was a son of N^enus, and thus brother to /Eneas. 


274 THE AENEID. [Book v. 

gauntlets of equal size ^neas brought forth and bound 
their hands with equal weapons. At once they both stood 
up on tiptoe, and undismayed they raised their arms in 
air. Far from the blow they warily withdrew their towering 
heads, and mingle hand with hand in sparring fight. The 
one excelled in nimbleness of foot, and trusted too on youth- 
ful vigour ; the other in size of body and of limb surpassed 
his rival, but his knees are slack and languid, and his heavy 
breathing causes all his frame to shake. The men deal 
many blows to one another with no result ; many on their 
hollow sides they rain, and from their breasts the thuds 
resound, and the gauntlets come and go in quick succession 
around their ears and temples, and with hard hit strokes 
the bones of jaw and cheek are made to rattle. Entellus 
in the same position stands unmoved and solid as a rock, 
and only shuns the blows by watchful eye and movement of 
the body. The other, just like one who with offensive works 
attacks a lofty city, or besieges under arms a mountain 
fortress, now this now that approach observes, and with 
skilful eye surveys the place all round, and baffled, presses 
it with various assaults. Entellus, rising to the stroke, 
showed his right and raised it high : the other quickly saw 
the blow descending from above, and shunned it by a 
rapid spring. Entellus spent his force upon the air, and, 
heavy himself, he fell to earth with heavy fall by his own 
effort and vast weight of frame : as sometimes a hollowed 
pine uprooted falls on Erymanthus ^ or great Ida. The 
Trojans and Trinacria's sons start to their feet with eager 
interest ; loud shouts mount upward to the sky ; and first 
Acestes runs and, with pitying look, lifts from the ground 
his aged friend of equal years. But the hero, neither 
daunted nor disabled by his fall, returns with greater keen- 
ness to the fight, and through vexation calls up all his 

1 Erymanthus, a mountain of Arcadia, where Hercules slew the 
famous Erymanthian boar. 

414-476] THE AENEID. 275 

force. And then did shame and conscious merit rouse 
his powers, and with furious onslaught Dares over all 
the field he headlong drives, repeating blow on blow, 
now with his right hand, now with his left ; nor stay, 
nor stop : as showers of copious hail rattle on the housetops, 
so with his blows, both thick and fast, the hero pummels 
Dares, and with his hands cuffs him from side to side. 
Then father .^neas did not let their passions farther go, or 
permit Entellus to vent his fury with embittered mind ; but 
brought the combat to an end, and rescued Dares, worn 
and wearied out, and with soothing words thus speaks : 
Unhappy man, what folly seized you? Discern you not 
powers more than mortal, and gods estranged ? Yield to 
the deity. He spoke, and by his orders stopped the fight. 
But him his trusty comrades lead to the ships, dragging 
his sickly limbs along, swaying his head from side to side, 
discharging from his mouth the clotted gore, and teeth mixed 
up with blood; and, summoned, they receive the helmet 
and the sword : the palm branch and the bull they to 
Entellus leave. On this the victor, in triumphant mood, 
and glorying in the bull, thus spoke : O goddess-born, and 
Trojans here, take note of this and learn both what my 
strength was in my youthful frame, and from what a death 
you have restored your Dares back to life. He spoke, and 
placed himself before the bull which stood hard by as 
the reward of battle won, and rising to the stroke, right 
between the horns he plants the c?estus blow, and crashes 
into the bones and through the brain. The ox is felled, 
and lifeless lies all quivering on the ground : then over him 
he utters from his breast such words as these : Eryx, instead 
of Dares' death, to thee I pay this life, more pleasing 
sacrifice : and here, victor in my latest fight, I lay aside my 
csestus and the "noble art." 

^neas forthwith calls on such as wish to try their skill 
with arrows swift, and names the prizes : and with strong 

2/6 THE AENEID. [Book v, 

arm^ a mast he raises brought from Serestus' ship, and 
from the lofty pole he hangs a fluttering dove, well fastened 
by a cord, at which to aim their shafts. The rivals gather, 
and a brazen helmet held a lot for each; and first of all, 
the place of Hippocoon,^ son of Hyrtacus, comes forth 
with favouring shouts ; whom follows Mnestheus, lately 
victor in the naval strife, — Mnestheus, still crowned with 
olive green. The third, to Eurytion, brother, famed Pan- 
darus, of you, who once, when bid to violate the treaty, first 
shot an arrow in among the Greeks. Last, and in the 
bottom of the helmet, Acestes stayed, he too adventuring 
with his hand to try the feats of youth. Then with powerful 
strength they bend and curve their bows, each for himself, 
and from the quivers take the arrows forth. And first the 
arrow of the youthful son of Hyrtacus, shot through the azure 
from the twanging string, cleaves the fleet air : the mast it 
reaches, and sinks into the wood. The mast all quivered, 
and the frighted bird showed terror by its fluttering wings : 
both earth and sky resound with loud applause. Next 
eager Mnestheus stood with full-drawn bow, gazing aloft, 
and levels at once both shaft and eye. But alas, worse 
luck, the bird itself he failed to hit : he cut the knots and 
hempen string by which the dove, bound by the foot, was 
hanging from the lofty mast. She, with winged speed, shot 
into the air and dusky clouds. Then, quick as lightning, 
Eurytion, holding his arrow already at the stretch upon his 
ready bow, poured forth to brother Pandarus a hurried prayer, 
when now he saw the bird delighting in the free and open 
sky, and as she flapped her wings for joy he pierced her 
'neath a lowering cloud. She dropped down dead, and left 

^ Ingenti inami — may also be translated "by means of a large band 
of men." 

^ Hippocoon was brother to Nisus, and friend of /Eneas. Eurytion 
and Pandarus were sons of Lycaon : the latter was slain by Diomede 
in the Trojan war. 

477-541] THE AENEID. 277 

her life among the stars of heaven ; and as she falls, she 
brings to earth the arrow in her body fixed. Acestes alone 
remained, the prize thus lost ; but yet he shot his arrow into 
upper air to show his master skill and twanging bow. Here 
suddenly a sight is seen, ere long to be a sign of weighty im- 
port : the great result informed them later on, and the seers, 
who in alarm delight, hailed it a future omen. For the 
arrow, flying among the vapoury clouds, took fire, and by its 
flame marked out a track, and then, when quite consumed, 
it vanished into empty air ; as often falling stars, detached 
from heaven, shoot o'er the firmament, and as they fly draw 
after them thin streaks of light. The men of Sicily and of 
Troy stood fixed in wonder, and besought the gods ; nor 
does the great ALneas, refuse the omen, but, clasping Acestes 
in his joy, loads him with full rewards, and speaks as follows: 
Accept the gifts, O sire ; for heaven's great king by these his 
omens signifies his will that you receive a special honour. 
You shall retain this as a gift from old Anchises' self: 
a bowl with figures chased, which Thracian Cisseus once 
to my father gave, a splendid gift, to take with him as a 
memento of himself and as a token of his love. This said, 
he wreathes his temples with verdant laurel, and declares 
Acestes victor, foremost of them all. Nor does good 
Eurytion in envy grudge him the honour, though he alone 
from heights of heaven brought down the bird. He next 
advances for his prize who cut the cord, and last of all he 
who pierced the mast with winged shaft. 

But ere the contest closed, yEneas calls to him the son 
of Epytus, guardian and companion of liilus, and thus 
whispers in his trusty ear : Go quick, says he, desire 
Ascanius, if he holds in readiness his company of boys and 
has his troop, to bring his cavalry and show' himself in 
arms in honour of my sire. And then he orders all the 
people, who had crowded in, to leave the larger circus, and 
to clear the field. The boys file in, and in their shining 

2/8 THE AENEID. [Book v. 

uniforms look bright upon their bridled steeds, full in their 
parents' sight; and all the Trojan and Trinacrian youth 
admiring them as they pass, break forth in murmurs of 
applause. All in due form with a trimmed garland had 
compressed their hair. They bear two cornel spears pointed 
with steel ; some have polished quivers on their shoulders. 
A pliant chain of twisted gold their neck encircles, dropping 
to the breast. Three troops of horsemen and three leaders 
on the plain parade : twelve striplings following each look 
gay and bright, in band divided, and with commanders 
dressed and armed alike. One set of youths young Priam, 
with his grandsire's name, leads on in honest pride : your 
illustrious offspring, O Polites,^ destined to raise a stock for 
Italy and augment her fame : he rides a Thracian steed, 
marked with white, showing white pasterns on his feet in 
front, and a white forehead as he tosses it on high. The 
second is Atys,^ from whom the Atii of Rome derive their 
origin, — young Atys, a boy dear to the boy liilus. Last 
and handsomest of all, liilus rode on a Sidonian steed 
which the fair Dido gave him as a memento of herself and 
as a token of her love. The other youths ride on Trina- 
crian horses of good old King Acestes. As they approach 
with beating hearts the Trojans welcome them with loud 
applause, and are delighted as they look on them and 
recognise the features of their ancestors. Now when the 
joyous youths have traversed on their steeds the whole 
inclosure, and have paraded full in their parents' view, 
Epytides at distance gave a signal shout, as they stood 
ready, and cracked his whip. Forth they rode in equal line, 
and forming in three bands broke up the company in smaller 
sets : and again, at command, they wheeled and presented 

^ Polites, a son of Priam and Hecuba. 

^ Atys, who also accompanied yEneas, is supposed to have been the 
progenitor of the family of the Atii at Rome. This is a compliment 
to Augustus, whose mother's name was Atia. 

S42-6oo] THE AENEID. 279 

arms in hostile attitude. They then move forward in 
different courses, and return to the charge in different 
parties, confronting one another with a space between, 
and they involve alternately circle within circle, and armed 
engage in mimic war. And now they show their backs 
in flight, and now in anger turn their darts against their 
pursuers ; now peace being made, they ride on, side by 
side. As in olden days there was a labyrinth in lofty 
Crete which had a path constructed between darkening 
walls, and a deceptive maze with walks innumerable, 
where a mistake undetected, and unable to be remedied 
by retracing one's steps, would conceal the marks of the 
onward track : in such a course the sons of Troy involve 
their movements, and in sport feign flight and battle, like 
dolphins which swimming through the watery deep cut the 
Carpathian or the Libyan Sea, and gambol on the waves. 
These evolutions and these contests Ascanius first revived 
when he surrounded Alba Longa with a wall, and taught 
the early Latins to practise them, as he did when a boy, 
and as the Trojan youth did with himself: the Albans 
taught their sons, hence mighty Rome received them in 
succession, and retained the old observance of their sires. 
The boys are now called Troja, and the company Trojanum.^ 
And thus the games were held in sacred memory of his 
honoured father. 

Kere fickle Fortune first proved treacherous. Whilst 
at the tomb the solemn rites they pay with various 
sports, Saturnian Juno to the Trojan fleet sent Iris 
down from heaven, and as she goes breathes on her 
favouring winds, devising many plans, her ancient grudge 
not sated yet. The virgin goddess, hastening down 
the bow of many colours, shoots along the sloping path 

^ This game, commonly known by tlie name of the Lusus Troja;, 
is purely of Virgil's own invention : he had no hint of it from 

28o THE AENEID. [Book v. 

unseen by all. She sights the vast assembly ; then, as she 
scans the shore, observes the port deserted, and the fleet 
abandoned. But not far off the Trojan dames, sitting on 
the lonely beach apart, Anchises' loss lamented, and all of 
them in tears gazed on the deep, deep ocean. Ah ! that so 
many shoals and such a length of sea should still remain 
after our many toils ! was the one cry of all. All for a 
city pray ; and all are weary of the hardships of the main. 
Therefore, not new in mischief, she hurries to their midst, 
and lays aside the mien and vesture of a goddess : she 
assumes the form of Beroe, the aged wife of Thracian 
Doryclus, ^ who was of noble birth, and once had name and 
offspring; and thus among the Trojan matrons she intrudes : 
Ah ! luckless we, whom in the war the Grecian bands did 
not drag forth to die beneath our city's walls ! Ill-fated 
race ! for what a doom does fortune save you ? The seventh 
summer since Troy's fall now passes, during which we still 
are wandering onward, having traversed every sea, visited 
every coast, risked so many dangerous rocks, braved and 
outwatched so many stars ; while over the wide ocean we 
pursue an ever-fleeing Italy, and on the waves are tossed. 
Here are the realms of kindly Eryx, and here his friend 
Acestes : who prevents him founding walls, and giving 
citizens a city ? Ah, my country, and you Penates, saved 
from the enemy in vain ! Shall no new Troy arise to be 
renowned by fame ? In no land shall I see those Trojan 
rivers, the Xanthus and the Simois, scenes of Hector's 
bravery ? But come, and burn with me our ill-starred ships. 
For in my sleep the shade of sage Cassandra seemed to 
hand me flaming brands ; Seek here, says she, for Troy ; 
here is your lasting home. Now is the time for action : 
prodigies so great admit of no delay. Lo ! here are altars 
four to Neptune : the god himself supplies the brands and 

^ Doryclus, a broiher of Phineas, king of Thrace. 

601-663] THE AENEID. 28 1 

will to use them. Speaking thus, she fiercely seized the 
deadly fire, and with uplifted hand swung back, she waves 
it flaming, and she flings. The Trojan dames were startled, 
and their hearts were stunned. Then one of them, Pyrgo 
by name, the oldest of them all, the royal nurse to Priam's 
numerous sons : Matrons, it is not Beroe you have here, 
it is not the Trojan wife of Doryclus : mark the tokens of 
divine beauty, and the bright and sparkling eyes : what 
fire of soul she had, what looks and tone of voice, aye, 
what a stately step ! Parting just now from Beroe, I left 
her sick, and much distressed that she alone should fail in 
such a duty, and not present due offerings to Anchises. So 
much she said. But the matrons, at first in doubt, and 
hesitating between their liking for the present land and 
those that by decree of fate invite them, looked at the ships 
with mischief in their eyes : and then the goddess on her 
spreading wings ascended through the air, and traced 
a giant bow up to the very clouds of heaven. Now, indeed, 
the matrons, stunned by the portent and impelled by 
frenzy, shout out and seize the fire from the inmost 
hearths.^ Some rob the altars, and as brands fling leafy 
boughs and branches ; without control the blazes rage 
amidst the rowers' seats, and oars, and sterns of painted 
fir. To Anchises' tomb and to the benches of the 
circus Eumelus bears the news of ships on fire, and men 
themselves look round and see the sparks and embers 
floating upward in a pitchy cloud. And first Ascanius, as 
in joy he led the movements of his troop, just as he was, 
spurs to the troubled camp his fiery steed, nor could his 
breathless guardians keep him back. What a strange mad- 
ness this ? \\'hat aim you at, alas, my wretched fellow- 
citizens ? Not the enemy and the hostile camp of Greeks, 
but your own hopes you burn. Here ani T, your own 

' /.e. , from the neighbouring dwellings. 

282 THE AENEID. [Book v. 

Ascanius. Before them he threw down the Hght and 
empty helmet which he wore while in sport he led the 
mimic war. At the same time, yEneas and bands of 
Trojans hasten forward. But the matrons in terror fly 
this way and that, up and down the shore, and take to 
the woods to hide themselves, and to the hollow rocks 
wherever they are found. They mourn the deed they've 
done, and hate the light of day, and, changed in mind, 
they recognise their friends, and from their hearts Juno is 
driven. But yet the flames and conflagration abated not their 
furious rage. The tow still burns beneath the moistened 
boards, emitting languid smoke; the lingering flame con- 
sumes the keel, and through all the vessel's frame the 
plague sinks down. Neither toils of men nor floods 
of water aught avail. Then good yEneas from his 
shoulders tore his robe and help of gods invoked, and 
heavenward stretched his hands : Almighty Jove, if thou 
dost not yet abhor the Trojans to a man, if thy former 
loving-kindnesses regard with pity human woes, grant that 
the fleet, O Father, may now escape the flames, and save 
from utter loss the Trojans' poor estate. Or, as to what 
remains, hurl it to ruin with thy thunderbolts of wrath if 
so I hierit, and crush us here by thine own right hand. 
Scarce had he spoken when a tempest black with rain in 
torrents bursts in fury unrestrained, and hills and plains 
shake with the thunder : from all the heavens there pours 
a drifting shower with turbid waters, and black as night by 
the condensing south winds : and from above the ships are 
filled ; the beams, half-charred, are soaked ; until the heat 
is quite extinguished, and all the vessels, with the loss of 
four, are from destruction saved. 

But father ^neas, stunned by this cruel blow, pondering 
his weighty cares, now turned his thoughts in this way, now 
in that, whether he should settle in the Sicilian land, forget- 
ful of the Fates, or to the Italian shores should steer his 

664-732] THE AENEID. 283 

course. Then aged Nautes,^ whom with special care Trito- 
nian Pallas taught and made renowned for skill, — he used 
to declare either what the anger of the gods portended, or 
what the scheme of destiny required, — consoling yEneas 
thus begins : Goddess-born, let us follow the Fates, whether 
they draw us on to Italy or drag us back ; whate'er may 
happen, all strokes of fortune by endurance must be met. 
You have Trojan Acestes of origin divine : advise with him, 
and take him as a willing friend : to him entrust such men 
as are superfluous, now that some ships are lost, and those 
who of your enterprise are tired and of your fortunes ; select 
the aged men, and women wearied of the sea, and whatever 
tends to weakness and of danger is in dread, and let them, 
exhausted as they are, have here a settlement : the city they 
will call Acesta, ^ if you consent. 

Moved by the counsel of his aged friend, his mind is 
led to ponder all his varied cares. Sable Night borne 
in her chariot in the zenith rode, and then an image of 
Anchises, gliLling from the sky, poured forth these words : 
Son, to me than life once dearer, while life remained ; 
my son, much harassed by the fates of Troy; hither I 
come by the command of Jove, who drove the fire from 
your fleet, and at length in heaven high has pity on 
you. Follow the advice, the best for you, which aged 
Nautes gives : carry with you to Italy the choicest of the 
youth, the stoutest hearts. In Latium you must sub- 
due a race stubborn in battle, and savage in their habits. 
But first, my son, visit the home of Pluto in the nether 
world, and seek an interview with me through realms of 
deep Avernus : for Tartarus, where dwell the wicked, and 

^ Nautes, a Trojan soothsayer. He was the progenitor of the Nautii 
at Rome, a family to whom the Palladium of Troy was afterwards 

^ Acesta, or Segesla, a city of Sicily, called in honour of king 

284 THE AENEID. [Book v. 

the abode of the unhappy shades, do not possess me, but 
I enjoy dehghtful converse with the righteous, and dwell 
in Elysian plains.^ To me the holy Sibyl will conduct 
you, black victims freely slain. Then you shall hear of all 
your future race, and walls assigned you. And now, fare- 
well : moist Night careers in her mid-course, and Morning, 
in relentless haste, has breathed on me with panting steeds. 
He ceased to speak, and fled like smoke into the subtle 
air. "Where then rush you ? where do you hasten ? says 
yEneas. Whom do you fly from? or who withholds you 
from my fond embrace ? So saying, he stirs the embers and 
the slumbering fire, and with prayers he worships the Trojan 
household god and hoary Vesta's shrine with sacred cake 
and brimming censer. 

Forthwith he calls his followers, and first, Acestes, and 
tells them Jove's command, and his father's words, and what 
he thinks himself. The plan's approved at once, nor does 
Acestes thwart his wish. Women for the city they select,- and 
him who wishes leave on shore — those that sought not great 
renown. The benches they renew, and to the ships restore 
the planks half eaten by the flames ; and shape new oars and 
fasten ropes, — in number few, but keen and resolute for war. 

Meanwhile ^neas marks out a city with the plough, and 
by lot assigns the houses : this part he calls Ilium, and that 
Troy. Trojan Acestes with joy accepts the sovereignty, 
institutes a court of justice, and gives to the assembled 
senators a code of laws. Then on the top of Eryx a temple 
of commanding height is raised to Venus of Idalium f and 
a priest and sacred grove are given to Anchises' tomb. 

^ Elysium, a place in the infernal regions, where, according to the my- 
thology of the ancients, the souls of the virtuous were placed after death. 

^ Transcribere, " to change the enrolment," is a word properly used 
of colonising. 

3 So called from Idalium, a town, grove, and mountain in Cyprus, 
where she was worshipped. The poet seems to have wished to suggest 
a connection with Mt. Ida, near Troy. 

733-784] THE AENEID. 285 

And now had they kept a nine days' festival, and sacri- 
fices were on the altars offered ; lulling breezes smoothed 
the seas, and the south wind blowing fresh and fair invites 
them to the deep. Loud wails arise along the winding shore : 
in mutual embraces they spend both night and day. Even 
the women, and the men as well, to whom the sea seemed 
lately dreadful, — its very name they could not bear, — now 
wish to go and brave the toil of exile. These the good 
yEneas with kindly words consoles, and with tears com- 
mends them to his friend Acestes. Three calves to Eryx 
then he offers, and to the winds a lamb, and then he bids 
the hawser to be duly loosed. Having wreathed his head 
with olive garland, and standing on the prow close to the 
sea,^ he holds the bowl and casts the entrails on the briny 
waves, and pours libations of wine unmixed. A wind rising 
astern, attends them on their way. The crew, in eager 
rivalry, smite the sea and tear up the main. 

Meanwhile Venus, harassed with cares, addresses Nep- 
tune, and utters these complaints : The direful wrath of 
Juno, and her rancorous heart that will not have enough 
of vengeance, compel me, Neptune, to descend to all 
entreaties : for neither length of time nor duteous prayers 
appease her, and, unchecked by Jove's command or by the 
Fates, she never is at rest. It's not enough for her accursed 
hates to have devoured a city from the very heart of Phrygia, 
and dragged its people through every hardship : she perse- 
cutes those saved from ruined Troy — aye, their very bones 
and ashes. Let her be very sure she has just grounds for 
rage so wild. You yourself were witness of the storm she 
lately raised in Libyan waters : she mingled sea and sky in 
wild confusion, not needing to rely upon ^olian blasts : 
and this she dared even in your very realm. Then next the 
Trojan matrons she incited by a foul device to burn the 

^ Standing at the extremity of tlie prow, so as to be as near as possible 
to the sea, for facility in performing the oblation into f/tf ^ea. 

286 THE AENEID. [Book V. 

ships, and so has forced them to leave their comrades in 
a foreign land. In fine, I pray you grant that they may 
sail in safety on the waters, and reach Laurentian Tiber,^ 
since 'tis Jove's own boons I ask and walls allowed by 
Fate. Then Saturn's son, lord of the ocean, thus spoke : 
Cytherean Venus,^ you have had good right to confide in my 
domain, from which you had your birth : I have deserved 
it too. Oft have I checked such wild commotions and such 
furious rage of sea and sky. Nor with less care did I by 
land ^neas guard — Simois and Xanthus I call to witness. 
When Achilles, pursuing the breathless troops of Troy, 
dashed them against their walls, to death gave many thou- 
sands, when the gorged rivers groaned, and Xanthus failed 
to find his channel, or roll his waters to the sea, then in an 
enshrouding cloud I snatched away ^neas, while encounter- 
ing the great Achilles, with strength and gods unequal ; 
although I should have wished to raze the walls of perjured 
Troy, reared by my hands. Now, too, my kindly feeling is 
the same : banish your fear ; in safety he shall reach the 
harbour of Avernus, as you wish. One only shall you miss, 
lost in the deep : one life for many shall be given. Thus, 
having soothed and cheered the goddess' heart, Neptune 
yokes his team with golden harness, puts on the mettled 
steeds the foaming bits, and all the reins shakes loose. In 
his azure car he lightly skims the surface of the waters : the 
waves subside, and under the thundering axle the swollen 
sea is levelled ; from the vast firmament the clouds all 
disappear. Then of his retinue are seen the various forms, 
fish of monster size, and the aged train of Glaucus, and 
Palaemon,^ Ino's son, the swift Tritons, and the whole array 

^ Laurentian Tiber, so called from Laurentum (Paterno), the capital 
of Latium in the reign of Latinus. 

- Cytherea : a surname of Venus, from the island of Cythera 
(Cerigo), on which she first trod when she emerged from the sea-foam. 

^ Palremon, the same as Melicertes and Portumnus. See note 59, 

7S5-841] THE AENEID. 287 

of Phorcus; on the left are Thetis, Melite, and the virgin 
Panopea, Nessee and Spio, Thalia and Cymodoce. 

On this a pleasing sense of joy thrills through Eneas' 
anxious mind. Forthwith he bids that all the masts be 
raised, and the yards with canvas clothed. All at once ad- 
just the sails, and together they let go, sometimes the left- 
hand sheet, sometimes the right : at once they turn the yard 
ends, and at once reverse them : favouring gales impel the 
fleet. Palinurus, foremost of all, leads on the ships in close 
array : the rest were bid to steer their course by him. 

And now the dewy night had almost reached her middle 
course ; the weary sailors, on the benches laid, with oars at 
hand, relaxed their limbs' in peaceful rest ; when the god of 
sleep, descending from the ethereal stars, parted the dusky 
air, and moved aside the shades ; to you, Palinurus, shaping 
his course, visiting you, though guiltless of neglect, with 
dismal dreams : and on the lofty poop the god sat down, 
assuming the form of Phorbas,^ and thus he spoke : Palin- 
urus, son of lasius, the seas themselves bear on the fleet ; 
the gales blow fair and steady : a period of rest is offered 
you ; recline your head, and from toil withdraw your weary 
eyes. For a little while I will assume your duty. To whom 
Palinurus, scarce looking up, replies : Do you bid me then 
to show my ignorance of smooth seas and peaceful billows ? 
Think you I would rely on such a wondrous calm ? For why 
should I entrust /Eneas to the faithless winds, and that, 
too, so oft deceived by the false aspect of a cloudless sky ? 
These words he uttered, and not for a moment left he go 
the rudder, grasping it tightly, and kept his eyes fixed on the 

Georgics, bk. i. page 46. Tritons, &c., sea-deities. The name Tritons 
was generally applied to those only who were half men and half 

^ Phorbas, a son of Priam, killed in the Trojan war by Menelaus. 
The god Somnus, by assuming his shape, deceived Palinurus, and 
threw him into the sea. 

288 THE AENEID. [Book v, 

stars ; when, lo ! the god over his temples shakes a branch, 
dripping with the dew of Lethe, and endued with death-sleep 
power, and in spite of all his efforts overcomes his swimming 
eyes. Scarcely had unexpected sleep begun to relax his 
limbs, when the god, leaning on him, flung him into the sea 
with the rudder and the broken stern, and as he headlong 
fell he often called in vain on his companions : then the god 
himself took flight, and on his wings rose heavenward. No 
less securely does the fleet pursue its way, and, true to Nep- 
tune's promise, is borne onward free from fear. And now, 
as it advanced, it neared the Siren reefs,^ dangerous of old, 
and white with bones of many men, and even then the rocks 
were sounding harshly from afar by the incessant plashing of 
the waves, when ^neas, feeling that the ship, its pilot lost, 
now swayed unsteadily, himself took charge to guide her in 
the midnight sea, heaving many a sigh, and stunned by the 
disaster of his trusty friend : O Palinurus, too confiding 
in a cloudless sky and waveless sea, you shall lie unburied 
on a foreign shore. 

^ Sirens : these were three fabulous sisters who usually resided in a 
small island near Cape Pelorus in Sicily, and by their melodious voices 
decoyed mariners to their destruction on the fatal coast. Ulysses having, 
by an artifice, escaped their fascination, the disappointed Sirens threw 
themselves into the sea, and perished. 


In the Sixth Book ^Eneas on reaching the coast of Italy visits, as he 
had been instructed, the Sibyl of Cumas. She attends him in his 
descent into the infernal regions, and conducts him to his father 
Anchises, from whom he learns the fate that awaited him and his 
descendants, the Romans. The book closes with the beautiful and 
well-known panegyric on the younger Marcellus, who was prematurely 
cut off in the flower of his youth. See Eclogue IV. 

So speaks he, weeping, and gives his fleet full sail and 
at length he reaches the Euboean coast ^ of Cumae. They 
turn their prows to sea : then the anchor with its tenacious 
fluke steadied the ships, and the curved sterns line all the 
shore. The youthful crews spring forth with ardour on the 
Hesperian strand : some seek the sparks of fire latent in the 
stony flint ; some scour the woods, close covert of wild 
beasts, and point out rivers newly found. But ^'Eneas hies 
to the towers where great Apollo in his lofty temple reigns 
and to the Sibyl's dread retreat, a cave of wondrous size, 
into whom the god of Delos largely breathes both soul and 
understanding, and to her the future tells. And now Diana's 
groves and golden roofs they reach, 

Daedalus,- as the story is, flying from the realms of Minos, 
venturing to trust himself to the sky on nimble wings, 
floated towards the cold north by an untried course, and at 

^ Euboean coast, applied to Cumas in Italy, as having been built by 
a colony from Chalcis, a city of Euboea (Negropont), an island in the 

- Daedalus, a most ingenious artist of Athens, wjio, with his son 
Icarus, fled, by the help of wings, from Crete, to escape the resent- 
ment of Minos ; but Icarus fell into a part of the ..-Egean Sea, which 

afterwards received his name. 


290 THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

length alighted gently on the tower of Chalcis. First landed 
on these coasts, to you, O Phoebus, he consecrated his oary 
wings, and reared a spacious temple. On the gates the death 
of Androgeos^ was pictured : then the Athenians were seen, 
ordered to pay a yearly penalty — a sad necessity ! — seven 
bodies of their children : there stands the urn for drawing of 
the lots. On the other side, as balance to the scene, the land 
of Crete is shown, as raised above the sea. Here is shown 
the passion of Pasiphae for the bull, by cruel vengeance 
stirred, and she herself, by cunning trick, submitting to his 
stolen embrace, and the mongrel offspring, and the Mino- 
taur, half-man half-beast, monuments of unholy lust. Here 
appears that laboriously formed retreat, and the maze not 
to be threaded. But Dsedalus, pitying Ariadne's ardent 
love, of his own accord resolves the puzzle of the wind- 
ings, directing the steps of Theseus- by a cord. You, too, 
O Icarus, should have borne a worthy part in that great 
work had the artist's grief permitted. Twice did he try to 
carve in gold your sad mischance : twice did a father's hand 
drop powerless. But in detail they would have viewed the 
work, were not Achates now at hand, and with him the 
priestess of Phoebus and Diana, Deiphobe,^ daughter of 
Glaucus, who thus bespeaks the king : This is no time for 
seeing sights. 'T would be fitter now to sacrifice, with all 
due rites, seven bullocks that have not been yoked, and 

1 Androgeos, the son of Minos and Pasiphae, famous for his skill in 
wrestling, was put to death by /Egeus, king of Athens, who became 
jealous of him ; to revenge his death, Minos made war upon the 
Athenians, and at last granted them peace, on condition that they 
sent yearly seven youths and seven virgins from Athens to Crete, to 
be devoured by the Minotaur, a fabulous monster, half man half bull. 

" Theseus, king of Athens, and son of zEgeus, was, next to Hercules, 
the most celebrated of the heroes of antiquity. He slew the Minotaur, 
and escaped from the Labyrinth of Crete by means of a clue of thread 
given to him by Ariadne, daughter of Minos. 

2 Deiphobe, the Cumsean Sibyl, daughter of Glaucus. 

i7-7i] THE AENEID. 29 1 

chosen ewes as many. The priestess having spoken thus, — 
nor are the attendants slow to perform the sacrifices ordered, 
— calls on the Trojans to the lofty temple. 

The huge side of Cumae's rock is hewn into a cave, 
whither a hundred broad avenues conduct, and hundred 
doors ; whence rush as many voices, the responses of the 
Sibyl. They had come to the entrance, when thus the 
virgin exclaims : Now is the time to ask responses by your 
prayers : the god ! lo, the god ! As she thus speaks before 
the gate, her look at once is changed ; her colour comes and 
goes ; her locks are flying free ; her bosom heaves and her 
heart swells with the wild frenzy of inspiration : moreover, 
she appeared taller to the view, nor did her accents sound as 
mortal's, since she was touched by the more present influ- 
ence of the god. Trojan yEneas, do you delay your vows and 
prayers ? why stay you ? For not till you have prayed shall 
the broad gates of this awe-stricken house unfold to view. 
Thus having said, she ceased. Through the hardy Trojans' 
very bones cold horror ran ; and from his inmost soul the 
king poured forth these prayers : O Phcebus, who hast ever 
pitied Troy's heavy woes, who to Achilles didst direct the 
hand of Paris and his Trojan darts ; in thy safe keeping I 
have braved so many seas bounding great lands, and the 
Massylian nations far remote, and regions fronting Syrtes. 
Now at length we grasp the coast of Italy that still recedes. 
Enough that Troy's ill-fortune has thus far followed us. 
Now it is just that even you should spare the Trojan race, 
ye gods and goddesses to whom Ilium and the high renown 
of Dardania were obnoxious. And thou too, most holy 
prophetess, skilled in futurity, grant — I ask no realms but 
what to me by fate are destined — that the Trojans, their 
wandering gods, and storm-tossed deities of Troy may now 
in Latium settle down. Then will I raise to Phoebus and 
Diana a marble temple, and festal days arrange, called by 
Apollo's name. Thee, too, a spacious sanctuary in our 

292 THE AENEID. [Book 


realms awaits : for there, O gracious one, tiiy oracles I'll 
place, and the secret fates assigned my race, and for them 
their special guardians will select. Only thy verses to the 
leaves commit not, lest they fly about, the sport of rapid 
winds : I beg that thou thyself wilt tell them. This said, he 
ceased to speak. 

But the prophetess, to Phoebus not yet subject, raves 
wildly in the cave, struggling to shake off the mighty god : 
so much the more he wearies her rabid mouth, taming 
her fiery spirit, and by the curb he moulds her to his 
will. And now the hundred gates of the abode flew open, 
and bear to the air the answers of the priestess : ^neas, 
the dangers of the ocean are at length exhausted, but 
greater perils on the land await you. The Trojans to 
the kingdom of Lavinium shall come ; from your breast 
dismiss that fear ; but they shall wish they ne'er had 
come. Wars, horrid wars, I see, and Tiber foaming with a 
tide of blood. Nor Simois, nor Xanthus, nor Grecian 
camps shall fail you there ; a new Achilles in Latium has 
been found, he too son of a goddess ; nor shall Juno, 
bane of the Trojans, leave them, where'er they are : and 
then, in your distress, which of the Italian states, which of 
its cities, shall you not beseech for aid ? Once more a wife, 
a hostess too, to the Trojans shall become the cause of 
greatest woe ; once more a foreign marriage. To troubles 
yield not, but meet them with more boldness as your fortune 
shall permit. The earliest path to safety will be opened by 
a Grecian city, a thing you little think. 

In such words does the Cumsean Sibyl these mysteries 
from her secret shrine declare, and the moaning tones 
re-echo from the cave, wrapping truth in obscurity. So 
strong restraints does the god exert, and deep in her bosom 
the pointed spur revolves. 

Soon as her frenzy ceased, and her raving mouth was 
still, ^neas thus begins : To me, O virgin, no sufferings 

72-130] THE AENEID. 293 

can arise new or unlocked for ; I have foreseen them 
all, and conned them in my mind. One thing I ask : 
Since here the gate of the infernal king is said to be, and 
the darksome lake, the overflow of Acheron, be it granted 
me to see my father, face to face : pray show the way, 
and open wide the sacred gates. On these my shoulders 
did I save him through flames and thousand vengeful 
darts, and from the enemy I bore him off. He, sharer in 
my toils, endured with me, weak as he was, hardships by 
every sea, and braved the dangers both of winds and waves, 
beyond the strength and destiny of age. Nay more, he 
gave me strict commands to pray you as a suppliant and 
approach your gates. O gracious One, I humbly beg, have 
pity on a son and on a father : for all things you can do, 
and not for nought has Hecate entrusted you with Avernus 
and its grove. If Orpheus could recall his consort's shade, 
relying on his Thracian harp and sounding strings ; if 
Pollux^ by alternate death relieved his brother, and goes 
and comes the way so oft — why should I mention 
mighty Theseus, why Hercules ? — I too spring from Jove 

So did he pray, and to the altar clung, when thus the 
prophetess began : Offspring of the gods, Anchises' Trojan 
son, easy is the path that to Avernus leads, — grim Pluto's 
gate stands open night and day ; but to retrace one's 
steps, and escape to upper earth, that is the task and 
that the toil. Some few, whom favouring Jove has loved, 
or glowing merit raised to the stars, being sons of gods, 

1 Pollux and Castor were twin brothers. According to ancient myth- 
ology Pollux was the son of Jupiter, and so tenderly attached to his 
brother Castor, that he entreated Jove he might share his immortality; 
which being granted, they alternately lived and died every day. They 
were made constellations, under the name of Gemini, which never ap- 
pear together, but when one rises the other sets. 

- That is, if these did it, why may not I, as I am descended from 


THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

have gained this boon. Woods cover all the space be- 
tween, and Cocytus, as it flows, surrounds it with his 
dismal windings. But if so strong your love, if your desire 
so ardent twice to sail the Stygian lake, twice to visit 
gloomy Tartarus, and if it gives you pleasure to indulge in 
this mad feat, learn what must first be done. On a shaded 
tree there hangs a bough, concealed from view, golden in 
its leaves and pliant stem, held sacred to Juno of the 
nether world.'^ This the grove covers, and the winding 
glades shut out from view. Still to none is it given to 
enter the hidden recesses of the earth till from the tree he 
pluck the bough with golden locks. Fair Proserpine has 
ordained that this be given her as her proper gift. When 
the first is torn off, a second fails not to appear, and a 
twig of gold again shoots forth. Therefore seek it on high 
with eager gaze, and duly pluck it with the hand when 
found ; for if the Fates invite you, it will come away with 
willing ease ; otherwise you cannot overcome it by any 
force, nor lop it off by steel. Besides, the hfeless body of 
your friend lies bare— alas ! you know it not— and by a 
corpse pollutes the fleet, while you responses seek, and 
linger at my gate. First bear him to deserved rest, and lay 
his ashes in the tomb. Black victims bring : let these be 
first atonements. So at length you shall behold the Stygian 
groves, and realms which living foot ne'er treads. She said, 
and with closed lips was still. 

^neas, with downcast eyes and sorrowing looks, goes on 
his way, leaving the cave, and ponders in his mind these 
strange events. On whom faithful Achates waits, and 
moves with pensive steps, sharing his grief. Many and 
various guesses did they make to one another, to what 
dead comrade did the prophetess refer, what corpse was 
yet unburied ; and then, as to the spot they came, 

1 Juno hiferna, i.e. Proserpine, wife of Pluto, otherwise called 
Jupiter Stygius. 

131-196] THE AENEID. 295 

Misenus they behold laid dead upon the beach — he merited 
a better death — Misenus son of ^olus, whom none ex- 
celled in rousing warriors by the brazen trump, and kindling 
the battle by its blast. He had been of great Hector's 
band, and close by Hector fought, distinguished both by 
clarion and by spear. When Hector by Achilles had been 
slain, the valiant hero had attached himself to Dardanian 
JEneas, following a chief of equal worth. But then, as it 
chanced, while with hollow shell he makes the seas to 
ring, and in his presumption challenges the gods to test 
their skill, Triton, in jealousy, if the story be believed, had 
caught him 'mongst the rocks, and overwhelmed him in 
the foaming tide. Therefore all joined in wailings round 
his body, and most of all JEneas : then forthwith, with 
many tears, they hasten to perform the Sibyl's order, and 
strive to build the altar-pyre with trees, and to raise it high 
to heaven. To a wood of aged growth they go, the wild 
beasts' lofty homes ; the pine trees fall before them, to the 
axe's stroke the oak resounds, and aspen beams and clean- 
grained trees are split by wedges, and from the heights 
great trunks of mountain-ash they roll, ^neas, too, is 
first to cheer his comrades in their tasks, and arms him- 
self with implements like theirs. And in his sorrowing 
heart he ponders with himself, as he sees the vastness of 
the wood, and then he prays aloud : O, if that golden 
bough would show itself in this great wood, since all the 
prophetess has told me of you has turned out true — ah ! 
far too true. Scarcely had he spoken thus when, as 
it chanced, two pigeons, in their airy flight, came close 
before the hero's view, and alighted on the verdant 
ground. The chieftain knows his mother's birds, and 
prays in joyful confidence : O, guide my way, where'er 
it be, and fly to the groves where on the fertile soil the 
branch now casts its shade. And thou, my goddess-mother, 
oh fail me not in my perplexity ! Thus having said. 

296 THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

he halted on his step, watching with care what sign 
they give, in what direction they proceed. They, feed- 
ing as they go, flew forward just so far that the eyes of 
those who follow keep them in view, and then, when they 
reached the jaws of fell Avernus, they ascend in rapid 
flight, and floating through the air, they both sit down 
together on their chosen spot above the bough, from which 
the golden hue, discordant with the tree, gleamed through 
the branches. Just as in the woods the mistletoe, which 
its own stem yields not, grows green with leaves in winter's 
cold, and the smooth trunk entwines with yellow berries, 
such was the appearance of the gold when sprouting forth 
on shady holm ; so the foil of gold tinkled with the gentle 
gale. Forthwith yEneas grasps it, and eagerly tears off the 
willing branch, and bears it to the Sibyl's cave. 

Meanwhile the Trojans no less keenly wept Misenus 
on the shore, and to his ashes paid the last sad rites, an 
unwelcome task.^ And first a pile they reared, with great 
and unctuous pines, and logs of oak, whose sides they inter- 
weave with mourning boughs, and place in front funereal 
cypresses, and deck the top with glittering arms. Some 
warm up water, and place caldrons which bubble on 
the flames, and wash and with oil anoint the body, stark 
and stiff. The wail is raised. Then, the washing done, 
the body next they gently rest upon a couch, and over it 
they throw the purple robes, his well-known dress.- Others 
lift the massive bier, a mournful duty, and with their faces 
turned away, as all our fathers did, apply the torch be- 
neath. Offerings of incense and of meats, and goblets of 

'^ '■^ Ingrato cineri.'" These words have been variously interpreted 
"to his ashes which can feel no gratitude," or " to his sad ashes," 
implying a melancholy death, or as above, the adj. ingrato being 
transferred from one substantive to another, as is often done by Virgil 
and other poets. 

^ Or, the usual covering of the dead. 

197-256] THE AENEID. 297 

outpoured oil are burned in one great heap. When the 
ashes sink, and flames subside, with wine they drench 
the rehcs and the thirsty embers ; and Corynseus gathers 
up the bones and puts them in a brazen urn. Thrice, too, 
the mourners he goes round with holy water, and with a 
branch of the proUfic oHve he sprinkles them with dewy 
spray, and purifies the crews, and speaks the last fare- 
well. But over him ^neas rears a tomb of size enormous, 
and on it represents the hero's special arms, his oar and 
trumpet, beneath the lofty Cape, which to the present day 
is called Misenus after him, and keeps his name to future 
ages known. 

This done, without delay he carries out the Sibyl's 
orders. There was a cave, deep and hideous with yawn- 
ing mouth, shingly, sheltered by a black lake and gloomy 
woods, o'er which no winged thing could fly unhurt, 
such exhalations from its dismal jaws ascended to the 
vaulted skies — [for which reason the Greeks called the 
place by the name of Avernus].^ Here first the ptiestess 
places four bulls with backs of swarthy hue, and on their 
foreheads pours forth wine, and cropping topmost hairs 
between the horns, lays them as offerings on the sacred 
flames, loudly invoking Hecate, who wields her power in 
heaven and in Erebus. Others employ the knives,^ and 
the blood in bowls receive. With the sword ^neas smites 
a lamb of sable fleece to the mother of the Furies and her 
great sister ; and to you, O Proserpine, a cow that has not 
yet brought forth. Then the sacrifice by night to the 
Stygian king she next begins, and on the flames she lays 
whole carcases of bulls, pouring rich oil upon the roasting 
entrails. But lo, as the early sun arose, the ground beneath 
their feet began to rumble, the wooded heights to quake, 

* i.e. , birdless. This line is perhaps the work of a grammarian, and 
not of Virgil. 

^ i.e., cut the throats of the victims. 





and dogs seemed howling in the darkness as the goddess 
came. Hence, far hence, all ye impure, exclaims the pro- 
phetess, and from the grove begone. Do you march boldly 
forward, and your sword unsheathe : now, ^neas, now you 
courage need, now an undaunted heart. This said, in 
raving frenzy madly into the cave she plunged. With 
fearless steps his guide he follows close, who leads the 

Ye gods who rule in Ghost-land, and ye silent shades, 
and Chaos, and Phlegethon, where silence reigns in dark- 
ness far and wide ! permit me to repeat things heard by 
me : permit me to disclose the secrets of that dismal world 
below the earth. 

They moved along amid the gloom, in stillness of the 
night beneath the shade, ^ and through the empty halls and 
shadowy realms of Pluto ; such as is a journey in the woods 
under an unsteady moon, with faint and glimmering light, 
when Jupiter has wrapped the heavens in darkness, and 
sable night has robbed the earth of colour. 

Before the very porch, and in the entrance door of Orcus, 
Grief and remorseful Cares have placed their dens ; there 
pale Diseases dwell, and disconsolate Old Age, and Fear, 
and Famine that prompts to wrong, and squalid Indigence, 
forms ghastly to the sight ! and Death, and Toil ; then 
Sleep, Death's cousin-german, and wicked Pleasures ; and 
in the threshold opposite is murderous War, and the iron 
chambers of the Furies, and frantic Discord, her viper's 
locks entwined with bloody fillets. 

In the midst a shady elm, of size immense, expands its 
boughs and aged arms, which place they say that dreams 
deceptive occupy in crowds, and closely cling 'neath every 
leaf. Many monstrous shapes, and beasts of every kind, are 
stationed at the gates : Centaurs and Scyllas of a double 

^ Observe the accumulation of epithets, all denoting the excessive 
darkness : " ohsciiri " — " so/a node " — '■'■per vmbram." 

257-312] THE AENEID. 299 

form, and Briareus ^ with his hundred hands, and Lerna's - 
hydra hissing dreadful, and Chimsera armed with flames, 
Gorgons and Harpies, and the form of Geryon's triple ghost. 
Here, stricken with sudden fear, ^neas grasps his sword, 
and, to the approaching shades, presents the naked edge ; 
and had not his practised guide told him that these are 
airy phantoms, which, void of flesh and blood, flit here and 
there under the empty form of body, he would have rushed 
upon them, and with his blade in vain have cleft the air. 

Hence is a path which to Tartarean Acheron conducts. 
Here a seething eddy, turbid and impure, boils up with 
mire and vast abyss, and into dark Cocytus vomits all its 
filthy sand. These pools and streams the dreaded ferry- 
man preserves, Charon ^ of hideous squalor, whose chin is 
matted with a crop of hair unkempt and hoary ; his fiery 
eyes stand in his head, and his filthy cloak hangs from his 
shoulders in a wisp ; unaided, with a pole his boat he 
paddles, and helps it by the sails, and in his murky bark 
brings up the dead : now elderly, but a god's old age is 
fresh and ever green. Hither crowds rush to the bank in 
eager swarms, matrons and men, the souls of gallant heroes 
whose life was done, boys and unmarried maids, and young 
men who on the pyre had lain before their parents' eyes, 
in number countless as the leaves that by autumn's early 
chills fall in the woods, or many as the birds that flock to 
land from ocean deep when winter drives them over sea, 

^ Briareus, a famous giant, son of Ccclus and Terra. The poets 
feigned that he had one hundred arms and fifty heads, and was thrown 
under Mount ^-Etna for having assisted the giants against the gods. 

^ Lerna, a lake of Argolis in Greece, where Hercules killed the 
famous hydra. Chimaera, a fabulous monster, represented with three 
heads — those of a lion, a goat, and a dragon. Geryon, a celebrated 
monster, whom Hercules slew. He was represented by the poets as 
having three bodies and three heads. 

■* Charon, son of Erebus and Nox, who conducted the souls of the 
dead in a boat over the river Styx to the infernal regions. 



[Book vi. 

and pours them down on sunny shores. They stood, each 
begging to be taken first to cross, and stretched their hands 
in eager longing for the farther bank ; but the boatman 
stern now these, now those admits, whilst others he drives 
backward, and keeps them from the banks. 

JEneas, moved with wonder and with pity by the scene, 
thus .speaks : O virgin, say what means this flocking to the 
river ? what do the spirits wish ? or by what principle of 
choice must these desert the banks, and those sweep with 
oars the darkling flood ? To him the aged priestess thus 
replied : Son of Anchises, undoubted offspring of the 
gods, this that you see is deep Cocytus, and the Stygian 
lake, by whose dread majesty no god will falsely swear. 
Those there are a helpless and unburied crow'd : that is 
the boatman Charon : these whom the stream now bears 
across already have been buried ; for it is not permitted 
to transport them o'er the horrid banks and murmuring 
waters before that in their resting-place their bones are laid 
in peace. They wander for a hundred years, and flit about 
these shores : then at length admitted, they behold again 
the stream for which they yearned. 

^Eneas paused and checked his steps, thinking of many 
things, and pitying in his heart their hapless lot. There he 
beholds, mournful and tombless, Leucaspis,^ and Orontes, 
the commander of the Lycian fleet, whom as they sailed 
with him from Troy over the stormy seas the south wind 
overwhelmed, engulfing in the waves both ship and crew. 

Forward the pilot Palinurus slowly came, who lately in 
his Libyan voyage, while watching the stars, had fallen 
from the stern, and plunged among the waves. When 
scarce, by reason of the shade, ^^neas knew him in this 
mournful mood, he thus accosts him : What god, O Pali- 
nurus, snatched you from us, and overwhelmed you in the 

^ Leucaspis, one of /Eneas' companions, lost during a storm in the 
Tyrrhene Sea. 

313-376] THE AENEID. 3OI 

middle of the ocean ? Come tell me : for Apollo, whom 
I ne'er before found false, in this one oracle deceived me, 
declaring that on the deep you should be safe, and should 
reach Ausonian coasts. Is this his plighted faith? 

But he replies : Neither did Phcebus' oracle beguile 
you, prince of Anchises' line, nor did a god in ocean 
plunge me; for, falling headlong, with the strain I tore 
away the helm, as chanced, and dragged it with me, while 
to my charge I clung, and steered our course. By the 
stormy seas I swear, that not for myself I feared so much, 
as that your ship, without her rudder, of her pilot reft, 
might founder in such waves as rose. Three wintry nights 
by south winds was I driven on sea-plains vast; by the 
fourth day's light I dimly sighted Italy from summit of 
a wave. I gradually approached the land, and now was 
good as saved, had not the barbarians with the sword 
attacked me, weighted by soaking garments, and clutching 
with bent hands the jagged cliff, and had they not, in 
ignorance of my hap, deemed me a prize. Now me the 
waves possess, and the winds drive me all up and down 
the shore. But by the pleasant light and vital air of 
heaven, by your father, by the hope of rising liilus, I 
implore you, invincible one, release me from these woes : 
cover me with earth, for you can do so, and make for the 
port of Velia ; or, if there be any means, if your goddess 
mother show you any, — for you do not, I think, without 
heaven's will attempt to cross such mighty rivers and 
the Stygian lake, — give me your right hand in my woe, 
and bear me with you o'er the water, that in death at least 
I may repose in peace. 

So did he speak, when thus the prophetess began : Shall 
you unburied behold the Stygian floods, and the forbidding 
river of the Furies, or approach the bank without permis- 
sion ? Palinurus, how can you cherish such a wish ? 
Cease to hope that heaven's decrees can by a prayer be 

302 THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

changed, but as a solace for your hard mischance hear 
and remember these my words : The neighbouring peoples,^ 
forced in all their cities by prodigies from heaven, shall 
make atonement to your shade, and shall erect a mound, 
and at that mound shall offer annual rites, and the spot for 
evermore shall bear the name of Palinurus. So were his 
griefs removed, and sorrow for a time was banished from 
his heart : he takes a pleasure in the namesake-shore.^ 

Their journey thus begun they follow on and near the 
river ; and when the boatman from the Stygian water saw 
them moving through the silent grove and heading to 
the bank, he first accosts them, and challenges, to boot : 
Whoe'er you be who now approach our river under arms, 
say quick, just where you are, what is your business, and call 
a halt. This is the abode of Shades, of Somnus, and of sleep- 
ful Night : it is against the law of heaven for me to carry 
in my Stygian boat the limbs of living men. Nor had 
I, sooth, much comfort in receiving on the lake goodly 
Hercules on his way, nor Theseus and Pirithous,^ although 
they were the sons of gods, and of might invincible. The 
former sought to chain the guard of Tartarus at Pluto's 
very throne, and dragged him off all trembling : the latter 
tried to bear away his queen even from the halls of Dis. 

In reply the Amphrysian prophetess briefly spoke : No 
treacherous designs have we, — be not alarmed, — nor do 
our weapons threaten violence : for aught that we intend, 
the dreadful dog may bark till doomsday in his den, and 
terrify the sapless ghosts : for aught that we intend, Proser- 

1 This befell the Lucanians. 

- The cape is still called " Punta di Palinuro." 

■^ Pirithous, a son of Ixion, and king of the Lapithre, whose friendship 
with Theseus, king of Athens, was proverbial. According to the poets, 
the two friends descended into the infernal regions to carry away Pro- 
serpine, but Pluto, who was apprised of their intention, bound Piri- 
thous to his father's wheel, and Theseus to a huge stone. 


377-431] THE AENEID. 303 

pina may still abide in honour in her uncle's home. 'Tis 
to behold his much loved sire that Trojan ^neas, famed 
for piety and arms, goes to shades of Erebus. If the 
sight of such affection moves you not, at least behold 
this branch, — she shows the branch still hidden by her 
dress. Then after passion's storm, his swollen heart is still. 
Nor more was said.^ With reverence admiring Fate's 
bough, not seen for many a day, he turns to shore the 
dingy stern, and nears the bank; the Shades still seated 
on the benches he bundles out and clears the thwarts; 
and in the hold receives the great ^'Eneas. The cobbled 
boat'^ groaned with the weight, and took in water through 
its opened seams. At length across the flood he lands the 
hero and the prophetess in safety, on the green sedge and 
the unsightly slime. These realms huge Cerberus makes 
to resound with barking from his triple jaws, stretched at 
enormous length in a den that faced them as they came. 
To whom the prophetess, his neck all bristling with 
snakes, flings a honeyed cake of wheat with lulling drugs. 
Ravenous with hunger his triple mouth he opens, and 
snatches the ofi'ered morsel, then prostrate on the ground, 
relaxes his monstrous body, and lies at length through all 
the cave, ^neas quickly gains the entrance, its guardian 
lulled in sleep, and nimbly mounts the bank of that stream 
"from whose bourne no traveller returns." 

Forthwith are heard loud wailing sounds, and weeping 
cries of infants at the very entrance ; whom, without a 
taste of life's delights, and torn from the breast, a black 
day carried off, and plunged in an untimely doom. 

Next these are they condemned to death on charges 
false : yet to their place assigned not without trial, not 

^ Nor more was said : literally, "nor to these words did the sibyl 
add more." Or, according to some, "nor did Charon return any reply 
to these words." The version given will suit either view. 

* i.e., formed of hides sewn across wicker ribs. 

304 THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

without a judge. Minos/ as president, siiakes the urn : he 
calls the dead before him, and scans their lives and hears 
the crimes alleged. 

The sorrow-stricken ones come next, who, free from 
crime, committed suicide, and hating light, in madness flung 
away their lives. How gladly now would they their poverty 
endure and painful toils on upper earth ! Fate hinders, 
and that unlovely lake with its grim waters holds them 
fast, and Styx, in ninefold circling stream, bars their escape. 
Not far from this are seen the Fields of Mourning, spreading 
far and wide : so they are called. Here secluded walks, 
with myrtle groves around, conceal all those whom love 
relentless has consumed by wretched pining : their fond 
regrets desert them not, even in death. In these abodes 
he sees Phaedra " and Procris,^ and Eriphyle, sad of 
look, pointing to the wounds inflicted by her cruel son: 
Evadne'* also, and Pasiphae; these Laodamia accompanies, 
and Cseneus, once a youth, then a woman, and again 

^ Minos, a celebrated king and lawgiver of Crete, son of Jupiter and 
Europa. He was rewarded for his equity, after death, with the office 
of judge in the infernal regions, with ^acus and Rhadamanthus. 

- Phaedra, a daughter of Minos and Pasiphae, who married Theseus. 
Her criminal passion for Hippolytus, and the tragical end of that young 
prince, by his chariot being overturned and dragged among rocks, so 
stung her with remorse, that she hanged herself. 

•^ Procris, a daughter of Erecththeus, king of Athens, and wife of 
Cephalus. Eriphyle, a sister of Adrasf us, king of Argos, and the wife 
of Amphiaraus ; she was murdered by her son Alcmseon, for having 
discovered where Amphiaraus was concealed, to avoid accompanying 
the Argives in their expedition against Thebes. 

•* Evadne, the wife of Capaneus, one of the seven chiefs who went 
against Thebes : she threw herself on his funeral pile, and perished in 
the flames. Laodamia, a daughter of Acastus, and the wife of Protesi- 
laus, whose departure for the Trojan war, and subsequent fall by the 
hand of Hector, caused her death from excessive grief Cseneus, one 
of the Lapithse, originally a maiden, by name Caenis, but changed into 
a man by Poseidon, and now again a female in the lower world. 

432-477] THE AENEID. 305 

by fate restored into his pristine form. Among these 
Phoenician Dido, fresh from her wound, was wandering in a 
spacious wood ; and soon as the Trojan hero approached 
and recognised her dimly through the shades, just as 
ones sees, or thinks he sees, the moon rising through the 
clouds in the beginning of the month, he dropped a tear, 
and addressed her in endearing terms of love : Hapless 
Dido, was the news then true that reached me you had 
died, and by the sword had sought your end? Was it 
death I was the means of bringing on you ? By the stars, 
I swear, by the powers above, and by whatever object of 
reverence there may be in the depths of the earth, that 
against my will, O (jueen, I departed from your coast. 
But the mandates of the gods, which now force me to 
explore these shades, these places rough and pathless 
from disuse and long neglect, and pass through gloomy 
night, compelled me, by their stern authority ; nor could 
I have believed that I could cause such anguish by my 
going. Stay your steps, and withdraw not from my sight. 
How is it that you flee from me? This last time fate 
allows me to address you. With such words Aineas tried 
to calm her, enraged and eying him with scowling look, 
and as he spoke he shed a flood of tears. She, turning 
from him, kept her eyes fixed on the ground, nor do her 
features change at his attempted speech, more than if she 
were a hard and flinty rock or a Marpesian cliff.^ At 
length she hurried off, and fled with angry look into the 
shady grove, where Sychasus, once her husband, sympa- 
thises with her griefs, and returns her love for love. Not 
less ^neas, deeply moved by her misfortunes, follows her 
afar with tears and pity as she goes. 

He then resumes his journey ; and now they reached 

1 Marpesa was a mountain in the island of Paros, in the /Egean sea. 
Paros was famed for its marble. 


306 THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

the region ^ which as their special haunt those famed in war 
frequent. Here Tydeus ^ meets him, here Parthenopseus, 
illustrious in arms, and pale Adrastus' shade. Here he 
finds those Trojans, who much bewailed on upper earth, 
were slain in war; and when he sees them all in long 
array he heaved full many a sigh — Glaucus,^ and Medon, 
and Thersilochus, Antenor's sons, and Polyboetes, priest 
of Ceres, and Idasus** still in charge of chariot and of 
armour. The ghosts in crowds around him stand on 
right and left : nor is't enough to see him once ; they wish 
to keep him long, to walk beside him and to learn the 
reason of his coming. But when the Grecian chiefs and 
Agamemnon's^ hosts beheld the hero, and his arms which 
glittered in the shade, they trembled, sore in dread : some 
turned their backs, as when to the ships they fled in former 
days ; some utter a shrill squeak ; the purposed war-cry fails 
the opened mouth.^ 

And here he saw Deiphobus, son of Priam, in all his 
body mangled, his face and both his hands, his head of 
ears bereft, and his nose struck off by shameful blow. He 
scarcely knew him cowering with shame, and striving to 

^ This region, i.e., that part which was neither in Tartarus nor 

2 Tydeus, the son of CEneus, king of Calydon, was one of the seven 
chiefs of the army of Adrastus, king of Argos, in the Theban war, where 
he behaved with great courage, but was slain by Melanippus. He was 
father to Diomedes, who was therefore called Tydides. Parthenopceus, 
a son of Meleager and Atalanta, was also one of the seven chiefs who 
accompanied Adrastus in his expedition against Thebes. 

2 Glaucus, a son of Hippolochus, and grandson of Bellerophon. He 
assisted Priam in the Trojan war, and was slain by Ajax. Thersilochus, 
a son of Antenor, and leader of the Pceonians, was slain by Achilles. 

* Idseus was charioteer and herald of king Priam, whose chariot and 
arms he seems to be in charge of in the lower world. 

* Agamemnon was king of Mycence and Argos. He was chosen com- 
mander-in-chief of the Greeks in the Trojan war. 

* Literally, "fails them as they open their mouths to utter it." 

478-527] THE AENEID. 307 

conceal his dreadful torture ; and in well-known tones he 
first accosts him : O brave Deiphobus, of Teucer's noble 
blood, who had the heart to mete to you a penalty so 
dread ? Who was allowed such vengeance to exact ? To 
me, in that last night, the news was brought that, tired 
with slaying Greeks, you fell at last on heaps of mingled 
dead. Then on Rhoetean shore to you a cenotaph I raised, 
and with loud voice I thrice invoked your Manes. Your 
name and arms still mark the spot. Your body, friend, I 
could not find, and, in your native land, at leaving, lay to 
rest. To which the son of Priam made reply : Nothing, 
dear friend, by you was left undone : all dues to poor 
Deiphobus you paid, and to his corpse's shade. But bitter 
Fates, and the foul deed of that Laconian woman, have 
sunk me in these woes : 'twas she that left these sad 
memorials. For how we passed that latest night amidst 
ill-grounded joys you know, and must too well remember. 
When the fatal horse o'erleapt our lofty walls, and in its 
pregnant womb brought men in arms, pretending Baccha- 
nalian dance she round the city led a train of Phrygian 
women, shouting the orgies. In midst of them she held 
a flaming torch, and from the lofty citadel she called the 
Greeks. Just then my luckless chamber held me, worn out 
by cares and sound asleep, and sweet and deep repose, 
like to calm death, o'ercame me as I lay. Meantime my 
"precious" wife moves all my armour from the house, and 
from beneath my head had drawn my trusty sword : she 
opens wide the doors and calls on Mcnelaus,^ hoping, 
no doubt, that to her lover it would be a valued boon, 
and that by that act the scandal of her former sins might 

^ Menelaus, the brother of Agamemnon, and husband of Helen, 
daughter of Tyndarus, with whom he received the crown of Sparta. 
This, however, he had enjoyed only a short time, when Helen was 
carried away by Paris, son of Priam, which was the cause of the 
Trojan war. 

3o8 THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

be removed. In fine, they burst into my room : Ulysses, 
son of ^olus,^ prompter of every cruelty, is with them. 
O ye gods, pay back the Greeks, with interest due, such 
dire barbarities, if, without offence to heaven, I ask for 
worthy vengeance. But come, pray tell me now what 
chances brought you here while still in life? Is't that 
you lost your course upon the deep, or by special order 
of the gods ? or what misfortune harasses you to drive you 
to these sunless regions, abodes of trouble and unrest ? 
Thus as they talked, Aurora, in her rosy team, had 
passed the zenith in her course ; and they had likely 
spent the whole allotted time in such communing ; but 
the Sibyl, as attendant guide, admonished him, and briefly 
spoke : ^neas, the night comes on apace ; we spend 
the hours in lamentation. The road here branches off: 
the right is that which leads beneath great Pluto's walls; 
by it our route is to Elysium : the left exacts meet punish- 
ment on evildoers, and takes the path to Tartarus, abode of 
the accursed. Deiphobus replies : Great priestess, be not 
angry ; I will be gone : I will complete our company, and 
return to darkness. Go, glory of your race : may you experi- 
ence better fates. So much he said, and went upon his way. 
^neas on a sudden looks around, and on the left beneath 
a rock he sees vast towers surrounded by a triple wall, 
which Phlegethon, the rapid flood of Tartarus, environs 
with flaming torrents, and whirls its roaring rocks along. 
Facing these there is a gate of size enormous, with columns 
of solid adamant, which no power of man, nor of the 
gods themselves, can destroy by war's machines. An iron 
tower uprises heavenward ; and there Tisiphone, clad in a 
bloody robe, is seated, and with sleepless eye watches the 
porch both night and day. Hence groans are heard, and 
sounds of horrid lash, and grating iron, and clank of 

^ Son, rather grandson, of ^olus. Ulysses is here meant; Sisyphus, 
the son of ^'Eolus, being, according to some, his father. 

52S-583] THE AENEID. 3O9 

dragging chains, ^neas halted, and by the din appalled, 
stood riveted. What forms of crime are these ? O virgin, 
say; or with what punishments are they chastised? what 
hideous wailing rises to the skies ! Then thus the pro- 
phetess began : Renowned leader of the Trojans, it is 
forbidden to the pure to tread the accursed threshold : but 
when Hecate appointed me as priestess in the groves of 
Avernus, she told me of the punishments by the gods 
decreed, and led me through it all. This is the realm of 
Cretan Rhadamanthus,i which with a rod of iron he rules : 
he hears the tale of crime and punishes the guilty, and 
forces them to tell what ills they did on earth, and glorying 
in a useless fraud, put off the penalty till death. Armed 
with a whip, Tisiphone, who vengeance wreaks, scourges 
the guilty with exulting zest, and in her left hand holding 
out her hideous snakes, calls to her aid the savage band 
of sister Furies. 

At length the gates of the infernal gods are thrown wide 
open, with horrid grating of their massive hinges. See 
what a sentinel sits in the porch ? what monster guards 
the gate? Within, a Hydra- huge, fiercer than e'en Tisi- 
phone, is seated, with fifty black and gaping throats. 
Then Tartarus itself descends precipitous, and stretches to 
the nether shades as far again as is the prospect upwards 
to the cTtherial sky. Here Earth's first progeny, the 
sons of Titan, hurled down by thunderbolts, welter in the 
bottomless abyss. Here, too, I saw the two sons of 
Aloeus,^ of colossal size, who tried by strength of arms 

^ Rhadamanthus, a son of Jupiter and Europa, wlio reigned over the 
Cyclades and many of the Greek cities in Asia, and for his justice and 
equity was made one of the judges of hell. 

^ Hydra, a fabulous monster of the serpent tribe : that which infested 
the neighbourhood of the lake Lerna, in Peloponnesus, was killed by 

^ Two sons of Aloeus, the giants, Otus and Ephialtes, who made 
war against the gods, and were killed by Apollo and Diana. 

3IO THE AENEID. [Book vi, 

to tear down highest heaven, and from his throne above 
to hurl almighty Jove. I saw Salmoneus ^ too, suffering his 
awful punishment, in act of mimicking the lightning and 
the thunder of Olympus. Riding in his four-horse car and 
brandishing his torches, he went in triumph through the 
tribes of Greece and the very midst of Elis' city, and 
claimed the honour due to gods alone, fool that he was, 
as if by brazen waggons and the prancing of his horny- 
footed team he e'er could match the thunder and the light- 
ning, which baftle rivalry. But through the frowning clouds 
almighty Jove his thunder hurled — it was no firebrands he 
threw, or light of smoky torches — and in the whirling 
tempest of the bolt drove him down to dark perdition. 
There Tityus - also you could see, child of earth, parent 
of all, whose body " lay extended long and large " o'er nine 
whole acres : and the frightful vulture, with his crooked 
beak, preying on his liver unconsumed, and on his vitals 
which ever breed new pangs, both digs in them for feasts 
and makes his home in the deep breast, and to his flesh, 
which grows anew from day to day, no rest is given. 
Why should I name the Lapith^, Ixion, and Pirithous? 
over whom there hangs a flinty rock, threatening each 
moment to give way, and as in act of falling ? Con- 
spicuous to view are lofty couches with their golden feet, 
and before their eyes the feasts of father Jove, of royal 
splendour." Beside the guests the oldest of the Furies 
sits, nor suffers them to touch the dishes with their hands, 
but rises with uplifted torch, and threatens them in tones 

1 Salmoneus, a king of Elis, who for his impiety in imitating the 
thunder of Jupiter, was feigned to have been struck by a thunderbolt, 
and placed in the infernal regions, near his brother Sisyphus. 

2 Tityus, a celebrated giant, son of Terra, or, according to others, of 
Jupiter and Elara. 

^ This line refers especially to Tantalus, son of Jupiter, who was 
represented as suffering the tortures of perpetual hunger and thirst. 

5S4-636] THE AENEID. 311 

of thunder. Here are those who, while in life, had hated 
kindred, had ill-used parents, or played a client false ; or 
who in selfish greed brooded over gotten wealth, nor shared 
it with their own — a class most numerous ; and those who 
for adultery were slain, who joined unholy wars, and 
scrupled not to violate the faith due to their masters :^ in 
dungeon dark they wait their punishment. Seek not to be 
told what penalty, what kind of crime or what ill-luck has 
been their ruin. Some a huge stone uproll, or with racked 
limbs hang bound to spokes of wheels. There sits, and 
evermore shall sit, the unhappy Theseus : and Phlegyas,^ 
in utmost misery, with loud and warning voice throughout 
the shades proclaims, "Take warning all : learn righteous- 
ness, and reverence the gods." His country one for gold 
betrayed, and forced on it a tyrant master; the laws for 
filthy lucre made and then unmade again : another sought 
his daughter's bed and gratified incestuous love : all dared 
some heinous crime, and what they dared they gained. 
Had I a hundred tongues, a hundred mouths, a voice of 
iron, I could not catalogue their crimes, nor name their 

When Phcebus' aged i)riestess thus had said, she adds : 
But come now, forward yet, and end the task you have 
begun ; let us hasten on. I see the walls reared by the 
Cyclops' forge, and the arching portal this way facing, 
where, as the rules demand, we must present this offering. 
She said ; and advancing side by - side by gloomy paths, 
they quickly cross the middle distance, and approach the 
gates. apneas to the entrance springs, his body with fresh 
water sprays, and on the door in front fi.\es the bough. 

^ The civil and llie servile wars of Rome are here hinted at. 

- Phlegyas, a sou of Mars, king of the Lapitha; in Thessaly, who 
plundered and burnt the temple of Apollo at Delphi : for this impiety 
he was killed by Apollo, who placed him in hell, where a huge stone was 
suspended over his head, which kept him in continual torture. 

312 THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

These rites concluded, and the offering to the goddess 
duly made, they came at length to realms of joy, the charm- 
ing lawns amidst the mansions of the Blest, and those sweet 
homes of happiness. Here an atmosphere more buoyant 
and expanded than our own enfolds the plains in purple 
light; they see a sun their own, and stars their own. 
Some on the grassy sward their limbs exert, in sports 
contend, and wrestle on the yellow sand : some tread the 
dance with measured step, and sing their songs of joy. 
Orpheus too, the Thracian priest, suits to their strains his 
lyre's seven notes, and these he strikes, now with his 
fingers, now with his ivory comb. Here may be seen that 
ancient race of Teucer, a most illustrious line of high- 
souled heroes, born in better days, Ilus,^ and Assaracus, 
and Dardanus, Troy's founder. At a distance ^neas 
views with wonder the arms and ghostly chariots of the 
chiefs. Their spears stand fixed in earth, and up and down 
their loosened horses freely feed through all the plain. 
What pleasure when alive they took in chariots and in arms, 
what love for rearing horses sleek and plump : the same now 
follows them in nether world. 

Lo ! others he beholds on right and left, feasting upon 
the grass, and in chorus chanting to Apollo a joyful paean, 
in a fragrant grove of laurel; from which, on upper 
earth, Eridanus wells forth in mighty volume through the 
wood. Here is a band of those who in defence of father- 
land their wounds received ; those who were priests of pure 
and holy life, while life remained ; those who were blessed 
bards, and verses sang worthy of Apollo's ear, or who by 
wise invention the life of man refined, and those who made 
their memory sweet and loved by deeds of kindness and 
of mercy : all these have snow-white fillets on their brows. 
Whom, as they gathered round, the Sibyl thus addressed,- 

' Ilus, the fourth king of Troy, was son of Tros and Callirhoe, and 
father of Themis and Laomedon. 

637-697] THE AENEID. 313 

Musteus^ chiefly: him a numerous crowd encircled, and 
looked up to, as by head and shoulders he o'ertopped the 
rest : Say, blessed souls, and you, noblest of poets, what 
quarter and what spot contains Anchises? For sake of 
him we came, and crossed the direful streams of Erebus. 
And thus to her the hero briefly made reply : None here 
have fixed abodes : in shady groves we dwell, or occupy 
the couches of the banks, and meadows ever freshened 
by the stream : but since your heart thus eagerly inclines, 
ascend this rising ground, and I will put you on the easy 
path. He spake, and went before, and from the height 
points out the glistening plains; and from the summit 
they descend. 

Far inward in a verdant glen, Anchises, with anxious 
thought, surveyed the spirits yet in prison, who by and bye 
must rise to upper earth, and was passing in review suc- 
cessive generations of his dear descendants, — their fates 
their fortunes, their characters and deeds. Soon as he 
beheld ^neas coming straight across the grassy plain, 
with eager joy he stretched out both his hands, and bathed 
his cheeks with tears, and from his mouth these words let 
fall : You have arrived at last : and has your dutiful affec- 
tion, long looked for by your father, o'ercome the arduous 
journey? Is it really given nie to see you, face to face, to 
hear your well-known tones and to return my own ? Just 
so was I concluding in my mind, and thought it soon would 
come about, counting the time, nor has my careful thought 
deceived me. Over what lands, O son, and over what 
stormy seas, have you, I hear, been tossed ! by how great 
dangers harassed ! how I dreaded lest the realms of Libya 
should work your ruin ! But he replied : Your Shade, O 
father, your Shade with look of sadness, often coming up, 
urged me to seek these realms : my fleet rides in the 

^ Musjeus, an ancient Greek poet, supposed to have been the son or 
disciple of Linus or Orpheus, and to have lived about 1410 years B.C. 

314 THE AENEID. [Book 


Tyrrhene Sea. Permit me, father, to clasp your hand ; 
and withdraw not from my fond embrace. So saying, 
he bathed his cheeks with floods of tears. On this he 
thrice essayed to throw his arms around his neck : thrice 
the phantom, grasped at in vain, escaped his hold, light as 
thin air, and like as may be to a fleeting dream. 

Meanwhile ^neas, in a winding vale, observes a lonely 
grove, and brakes that rustle in the woods, and the Lethean 
stream which skirts those peaceful homes. All around were 
flitting countless crowds and troops of ghosts; even as 
when, on a peaceful summer's day, bees in the meadows 
settle on the various flowers, and swarm around the snow- 
white lilies ; the whole plain buzzes with their humming 
noise, ^neas is startled by the sudden sight, and in his 
ignorance, he asks the cause, and farther what that river 
is, and who the men that fill its banks with such a crowd. 
Then Anchises said : Those souls, to which a second 
body faUs by fate, at Lethe's stream are quaffing draughts 
that care dispel, and bring oblivion of the past. Long 
have I wished to tell you in detail, and in your sight to 
point them out, and to enumerate my future race, that 
all the more you may rejoice with me in reaching Italy. 

O father, is it to be thought that any souls will go from 
this to upper air, and once again return to sluggish bodies 1 
What mad desire for life possesses wretched spirits ? I 
certainly will tell you all my son, replies Anchises, nor will 
I keep you in suspense : and thus in order he explains the 

In the first place, a living power feeds and sustains the 
air, and the earth, and the ocean, and the resplendent 
orb of the moon and the Titanian stars ; and an intelligent 
principle pervading every member puts the whole mass 
in action, and blends itself with the mighty frame of the 
universe. Thence spring the human species, and the race of 
beasts and the flying kind, and the monsters which the 

698-753] THE AENEID. 315 

deep brings forth beneath its glassy surface. In these 
germinating elements there is a fiery energy and a heavenly 
origin at work, so far as- polluted bodies do not deaden their 
power, or earth-sprung limbs and perishable members mar 
not their influence. Hence they are subject to fears and to 
eager longings, to griefs and joys ; nor do they, pent up 
as they are in darkness, and in the gloomy prison-house of 
the body, regard with care their celestial original. Nay, 
even when life has left them at their latest day, every ill 
does not quit their wretched souls, nor do all the infir- 
mities and impurities of the body entirely depart, but it 
needs must be that many imperfections, long manifest in 
growing coexistence with their natures, should be amal- 
gamated with wondrous closeness. Therefore they are 
disciplined for punishment, and pay to the utmost the 
penalties of former misdeeds. Some are hung up, exposed 
to the unsubstantial winds ; from others the deep-dyed 
stain of guilt is washed away in the depths of a vast and 
eddying pool, or burned out under the refining influence 
of fire. Each of us suffers according to the condition of 
his Manes ; thereafter we are sent forth throughout the 
spacious Elysium, and but few of us succeed in occupying 
permanently the fields of bliss until the tardy lapse of time 
— the appointed cycle of years having run its course — has 
removed the defilement which grew with our growth and 
strengthened with our strength, and now leaves the ethereal 
principle free from taint, and the "spark of heavenly flame" 
single and unalloyed. All these spirits, when they have 
completed the circle of a thousand years, the deity sum- 
mons, in long array, to Lethe's stream, with the purpose, to 
wit, that losing remembrance of the past, they may again 
revisit the vaulted arch above, and that they may begin to 
entertain a desire to return to mortal bodies. 

Anchises ceased to speak, and takes his son, and along 
with him the Sibyl, into the middle of the buzzing crowd, 

3l6 THE AENEID. [Book vr. 

and selects a height from which he may be able to scan 
them all as they advance before him, and know their faces 
as they come. 

Now then, I will show you what glory shall here- 
after attend the Trojan race, what descendants of Italian 
stock ^ await them, glorious spirits about to pass into our 
posterity; to you too I will tell your fates. That youth 
you see, who on his pointless spear inclines, by fate now 
holds the station nearest life ; he shall ascend to upper 
earth the first, in his veins both Trojan and Italian blood 
uniting, Silvius, an Alban name, your latest issue, whom 
in the woods your wife Lavinia shall bring forth to you 
in your old age, himself a king, and of kings the father ; 
our race derived from him shall over Alba Longa - reign. 
The next is Procas,^ the glory of the Trojan nation ; then 
Capys and Numitor follow, and ^'Eneas Silvius, who shall 
recall your name, equally renowned for piety and arms, 
if ever he receive the crown of Alba. See what youths 
are these, what manly force they show ! and have their 
temples wreathed with civic oak : these to your honour 
shall build Nomentum,* Gabii, and the city of Fidente : 
these on the heights shall raise the towers of CoUatia,^ 

1 Italian family: i.e., /Eneas' family by Lavinia. Silvius, a son of 
.ffineas by Lavinia, from whom afterwards the kings of Alba were 
called Silvii. 

- Alba Longa, a city of Latium, built by Ascanius. 

^ Procas, a king of Alba, father of Numitor and Amulius. Numitor, 
the father of Rhea Silvia, and grandfather of Romulus and Remus, 
who restored him to his throne, from which he had been expelled by 
Amulius, his younger brother. 

^ Nomentum (La Mentana), a town of the Sabines in Italy. Gabii, 
a city of the Volsci, between Rome and Prceneste, where Juno was 
worshipped, who was hence called Gabina, Fidenae, a town of the 
Sabines, on the Tiber, north of Rome. 

^ Collatia, a town of the Sabines on the river Anio, built on an 
eminence. Pometia, a town of the Volsci, which was totally destroyed 
by the Romans because it had revolted. Inuus, a town of Latium, on 

754-8oc] THE AENEID. 317 

Pometia, the fort of Inuus, and Bola, and Cora. These 
shall then be famous names ; now they are lands without 
renown. Moreover, martial Romulus, whom Ilia of the 
line of Assaracus shall bear, shall rise to join his grand- 
sire, Numitor. See you not how a double crest springs 
from his head, and how his father already marks him as 
a deity, by merit all his own ? Lo, my son, under his 
auspices, that glorious Rome of high renown shall extend 
her empire to utmost earth and her genius to the heavens, 
and shall wall into one city the circuit of her seven hills, 
prolific of a race of heroes ; like mother Berecynthia, 
when, crowned with turrets, she rides in glory through the 
Phrygian towns, joyful in a progeny of gods, embracing a 
hundred grandchildren, all inhabitants of heaven, all seated 
in the high celestial abodes. This way now turn your 
eyes : view this lineage and your own Romans. This is 
Cassar, and this the whole race of Iiilus,i who shall one 
day pass beneath heaven's great pole. This, this is the 
man so often promised you, Augustus Cassar, the offspring 
of a god,- who once again shall renew the golden age in 
Latium, through those lands where Saturn reigned of old, 
and shall extend his empire beyond the Garamantes and 
the Indians : their land lies outside the zodiac signs, beyond 
the sun's yearly course, where Atlas, bearing heaven on his 
shoulders, revolves the sky, studded with flaming stars. 
At his approach, even now the Caspian realms ^ and the 
Mrcotic shores are in dismay by warnings of the gods, 
and the mouths of seven-fold Nile tremble with dread. 

the shores of the Tyrrhene Sea. Bola, a city between Tibur and 
rrreneste. Cora, a town of Latium, on the confines of the Volsci, 
built by a colony of Dardanians before the foundation of Rome. 

^ liilus, a name given to Ascanius. 

2 Offspring of a god : adopted son of the deified Julius Ccesar. 

* Caspian realms : the Scythian nations inhabiting the borders of the 
Caspian Sea. Palus Mceotis, Sea of Azof. 

3l8 THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

Not even did Hercules so many countries traverse, though 
he transfixed the brazen-footed hind, stilled the forests of 
Erymanthus, and struck Lerna with terror by his bow ; nor 
Bacchus, who in triumph drives his car with reins of vine- 
twigs, chasing the tigers from Nysa's ^ lofty top. And 
doubt we still to raise our glory by our gallant deeds? 
or does fear prevent us from setting foot on the Ausonian 
land ? 

But who is he at distance, with the sacred things, 
distinguished by the olive boughs ? I know the locks 
and hoary beard of that Roman king, called from Cures'^ 
petty town, and from its poor domain to a great empire, 
who first shall base the city on a Code of law. Him next 
Tullus shall succeed, and he shall rouse his subjects from 
ignoble ease, and stir to arms his languid men, and bands to 
triumphs now unused. Next in succession follows boastful 
Ancus, courting too much even now the breath of 
popular applause. Do you also wish to see the Tarquin 
kings, and the noble soul of the avenging Brutus,^ and 
the fasces gained ? * He first shall gain a consul's power, 
and the remorseless axes ; and the father shall, for the 
sake of glorious liberty, summon to death his own-begotten 

^ Nysa : the name of several cities in various quarters of the world, 
sacred to Bacchus. 

^ Cures, a town of the Sabines : it was the birthplace of Numa 
Pompilius, the second king of Rome, a monarch distinguished by his 
love of peace. Numa was succeeded by Tullus Hostilius, who was of 
a warlike disposition. Ancus Martius, the grandson of Numa, was 
the fourth king of Rome after the death of Tullus : he inherited the 
valour of Romulus with the moderation of Numa, and after a reign of 
twenty-four years, was succeeded by Tarquinius Priscus. 

^ Brutus (L. Junius), son of M. Junius and Tarquinia, second 
daughter of Tarquinius Priscus. He was the chief instrument in ex- 
pelling the Tarquins from Rome, thus avenging Lucretia's violated 

* I.e., the Consular government. 

801-837] THE AENEID. 319 

sons, raising a civil war before unknown, unhappy man ! 
However future men shall judge that action, love to his 
country and the unbounded thirst for glory will prevail.^ 
But see at some distance the Decii, Drusi,^ Torquatus ^ 
with axe* unmerciful, and Camillus bringing back the 
standards. But those you see in glittering armour both 
alike, in perfect friendship now, and while they stay in 
darkness — ah ! what a war will they with one another 
wage if ere they reach the light of life : what armies 
will they raise, what slaughter will they cause ! the father- 
in-law descending from the Alpine hills and Monoecus' 
tower ;^ the son-in-law arrayed against him with an eastern 
host. O my children, accustom not your minds to wars so 
dreadful, and turn not your sturdy strength against the vitals 
of your country. And you, O Caesar, do you first forbear, 
you who derive your origin from heaven, you, my own 
blood, cast down your weapon. That one, having 
triumphed over Corinth,^' shall, as a conqueror, drive his 
chariot to the lofty Capitol, made famous by Achseans 
slain. The other shall overthrow Argos, and Mycenos, 

^ Alluding to the punishment of his sons for attempting tlie restora- 
tion of Tarquin. 

2 Drusus, the surname of the Roman family of the Livii, of wliich 
was Livia Drusilla, the wife of Augustus. 

^ Torquatus, a surname of Titus Manlius, a celebrated Roman, 
whose severity in putting to death his son, because he had engaged 
the enemy without his permission, though he had gained an honourable 
victory, has been deservedly censured. 

* i.e., strict in exacting justice. 

^ Monoecus, a maritime town on the south-v.-est coast of Liguria, 
where Hercules had a temple. The two warriors here referred to 
are Julius Cccsar and his son-in-law Pompey the Great. The civil 
war between Cixisar and Pompey, which terminated with the battle of 
Pharsalia, B.C. 48, led to the overthrow of the Roman republic. 

" Corinth, the capital of Achaia in Greece, was situated on the 
isthmus between the Corinthian and Saronic gulfs. This famous city 
was totally destroyed by L. Mummius, the Roman consul, B.C. 146. 

320 THE AENEID. [Book vi. 

Agamemnon's royal town, and ^acides^ himself, the 
descendant of the warrior Achilles, avenging his Trojan 
ancestors, and the violated temple of Minerva. Who can in 
silence pass over you, great Cato,^ or you, Cossus?^ who, the 
family of Gracchus,^ or the two Scipios,'^ those thunderbolts 
of war, the ruin of Africa, and Fabricius, rich in his poverty, ** 
or you, Serranus," sowing in the furrow ? Whither, ye 
Fabii,^ do you hurry me, weaj-ied ? You are that Fabius 
Maximus, greatest of your race, who by your single effort 
saved the state by wise delay. Others, I know, will mould 
the breathing brass with a finer and a softer touch ; in 
marble trace the features to the life ; plead causes better ; 
with the rod describe the motions of the heavens, and tell 
the risings of the stars : to rule the subject nations with 
imperial sway be that your care, O Roman ; these shall 

^ /Eacides is here applied to Perseus, king of Macedon, who was 
descended from Achilles, the grandson of yEacus. Perseus was totally 
defeated and taken prisoner by Paulus /Emilius, the Roman consul, in 
the battle of Pydna, B.C. i68. Soon after this period, the whole of 
Greece fell under the Roman power. 

- Cato, surnamed Uticensis, great-grandson of Cato the censor, was 
distinguished for his integrity and justice. To prevent his falling into 
the hands of Coesar, he stabbed himself, after he had read Plato's 
treatise on the Immortality of the Soul. 

^ Cossus, a military tribune, who killed Tolumnius, king of Vcii, in 
battle, and was the second to obtain the spolia opima. 

■* Gracchus, T. Sempronius, was distinguished both in the senate and 
the field ; he was the father of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus. 

^ Scipios : both the father and son are meant. 

^ Fabricius, C. L., the conqueror of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, was 
remarkable for the great simplicity of his manners, and his contempt of 
luxury and riches. 

^ Serranus was a surname of Regulus, who defeated the Carthaginian 
fleet off the Lipari islands in li.C. 257. He was found working on his 
farm, like Cincinnatus, when an offer of the consulship was made to 

* Fabii, a noble and powerful family at Rome, of whom sprung 
Quintus Fabius, the opponent of Hannibal. 

838-878] THE AENEID. 32 1 

be your arts — to impose the ways of peace, to spare the 
humbled, and to crush the proud. 

Thus father Anchises; and to them, in wondering admi- 
ration, he farther adds : Behold how decked with spoils 
of triumph Marcellus ^ stalks along, and as a victor over- 
tops the other heroes ! He, with his cavalry, shall prop 
the Roman state in dangerous risings ; the Carthaginians 
he shall humble, and the rebel Gaul, and the third " rich 
spoil " to great Quirinus give. And upon this ^neas 
says, — for beside him he beheld a youth distinguished 
by his beauty and his shining armour, but his brow was 
sad, and his eyes were downcast, — What youth is he, O 
father, who thus accompanies the hero as he walks ? is he 
a son, or one of the illustrious line of his descendants? 
What a buzz of admiration all about him ! What a model 
in himself he is ! but sable Night with dreary shade hovers 
around his head. Then father Anchises, midst his gushing 
tears, replied : Seek not, my son, to know the crushing 
sorrow of your race : him the Fates shall only show to 
earth, nor let him longer stay. Ye gods, Rome's sons had 
seemed to you too powerful had these your gifts been 
lasting. With what wailings shall the men of Mars' great 
city fill the place ! what funeral pomp shall you behold, 
O father Tiber, Ayhen you flow past that fresh-made tomb ! 
Neither shall any of the Trojan line raise hopes so high 
in Latin fathers, nor shall the land of Romulus e'er boast 
so much of any of her sons. Ah piety ! ah that faith of 
ancient times ! and that right hand invincible in war ! 
none with impunity had encountered him in arms, either 

^ Marcellus, Marcus Claudius, a famous Roman general, who signalised 
himself against the Gauls, having obtained the spolia opima, by killing 
with his own hand their king, Viridomarus. After achieving the 
conquest of Syracuse, he was opposed in the field to Hannibal, but 
perished in an ambuscade. The " Spolia Opima," or glorious spoils, 
were thoss taken by a Roman commander from the opposing general. 


322 THE AENEiD. [Book vi. 

when on foot he rushed upon the foe, or when with his 
spur he struck his foaming courser's flanks. Ah youth, 
much to be pitied ! if by any means the bonds of fate 
you burst, Marcellus^ you shall be. Give me lilies in 
plenty ; let me strew the blooming flowers ; these offerings 
at least let me heap upon my descendant's shade, and dis- 
charge this unavailing duty. Thus up and down they roam 
through all Elysium in its spacious airy plains, and every 
object scan. And when Anchises through them all had 
led his son, and fired his soul with love of coming fame, he 
next recounts to him what wars he must hereafter wage, 
informs him of the Laurentine peoples and the city of 
Latinus,^ and by what means he may avoid or conquer 
every toil. 

Two gates there are of Sleep, whereof the one is said 
to be of horn, by which is given an easy egress to true 
visions ; the other quite transparent, wrought of the finest 
ivory, but through it the infernal gods send up false dreams 
to earth. To it, then, Anchises, with such converse, 
convoys his son, and along with him the Sibyl, and by 
the ivory gate he sends them forth. yEneas hastens to the 
ships, and sees again his friends ; then straight along the 
coast he seeks the harbour of Caieta:^ the anchor from 
the prow is cast, the sterns upon the shore are staid. 

^ Marcellus, son of Octavia, sister of Augustus. He married Julia, 
the emperor's daughter, and was intended for his successor, but 
died suddenly at the early age of eighteen. Virgil procured himself 
great favour by celebrating the virtues of this amiable prince. See 
Eclogue IV. 

^ City of Latinus, Laurentum (Paterno), which was the capital of 
Latium in the reign of Latinus. 

^ Caieta (Gseta), a seaport town of Latium in Italy. 


In the Seventh Book ^.neas reaches the destined land of Latium, and 
concludes a treaty with king Latinus, who promises him his only 
daughter, Lavinia, in marriage. The treaty is, however, soon broken by 
the interference of Juno, whose resentment still pursues the Trojans. 
The goddess excites Turnus to war, and he calls to his aid the neigh- 
bouring princes. The book concludes with a description of the enemy's 
forces and their respective chiefs. 

You too, Caieta, Eneas' nurse, have by your death 
given to our coasts immortal glory ; and your fame pre- 
serves your resting-place, and the name marks your grave 
in great Hesperia — no small renown. But ^neas having 
performed her obsequies, and raised a tomb, pursues his 
voyage, and leaves the harbour soon as the deep is calm 
and still. The breezes freshen towards night, nor does 
the moon refuse her guidance : the sea glances under her 
tremulous light. They skirt the shores of Ciree's land, 
where the rich daughter of the Sun makes those groves of 
danger ring with incessant song, and in her gorgeous palace 
burns fragrant cedar for her light by night, while through 
the slender web her whistling shuttle flies along the loom. 
Hence were distinctly heard the roars and angry growls 
of lions struggling with their chains, and bellowing at the 
midnight hour : bristly boars and bears were furious in 
their stalls, and men in shape of monster wolves were 
howling ; whom Circe, cruel goddess, had by her powerful 

324 THE AENEID. [Book vir. 

herbs transferred from human form into the appearance 
and the guise of beasts.^ And that the honest Trojans 
might not undergo such hideous change if borne to the 
port, and that they might not land on that accursed coast, 
Neptune filled their sails with favouring winds, and sped 
their flight, and wafted them beyond the boiling shoals. 
And now the sea began to redden with the sunbeams, 
and in the lofty sky the saffron-coloured morn shone 
from her rosy car ; the winds then fell, and every breeze 
at once was lulled, and the oar-blades^ labour in the 
sluggish brine. And here ^neas from the deep espies a 
spacious wood. Through this the Tiber, beauteous stream, 
rushes to the sea in rapid eddies, yellow with his stores 
of sand. All around and overhead the many birds, which 
haunt the banks and channel of the stream, sweetened 
with their song the balmy air, and fluttered through the 
grove. ^neas bids his mates to change their course 
and turn their prows to land, and enters with joy the 
shaded river. 

Now come, O Erato : ^ 1 will set forth what kings there 
were, what was the order ■* of events, and what the state of 
ancient Latium when this foreign host landed their fleet 
on the Ausonian coasts, and trace the first beginning of 
the strife. Do you, O goddess, aid the memory of the 
poet. I will sing of horrid wars, of armies, and of kings 
by fierce passions hurried to the grave, and of the troops 

^ Qtios hoiniuuiii ex facie. Circe is said to have transformed men 
into wild beasts by means of certain herbs and a magical wand with 
which she touched them. The fable is taken from Homer, Odyss. 

X. 135- 

^ " Tonsa," scil. " ar bores, ''^ used for oars, 

^ Erato, one of the Muses, who presided over lyric, tender, and 
amatory poetry. 

* " Tei)i.J>ora" refers to the condition of the different states in their 
mutual relations ; ' ' status " to the independent condition of each re- 

iS-7i] THE AENEID. 32 


of Tuscany, and of all Hesperia mustered under arms. 
A grander series of events opens before me, a greater 
task I now begin. King Latinus,^ full of days, had ruled 
for long the country and its quiet cities in a lasting peace. 
He was the son, we hear, of Faunus and a Laurentine 
nymph, Marica. Picus - was Faunus' father ; and he, 
O Saturn, claims you as his sire : you are the remotest 
author of the race. To Latinus, by heaven's decree, no son, 
no offspring male remained ; but one, just growing up, was 
carried off in early youth. To his house and great inheri- 
tance an only daughter now remains, in body quite de- 
veloped, and of marriageable years. Many from wide 
Latium, and from all Ausonia, sought her hand : her 
Turnus ^ woos, surpassing all the rest in face and figure ; 
possessing, too, high claims from royal blood and ancient 
lineage ; whom the royal consort, with greatest eagerness, 
wished as her son-in-law : but various and alarming prodi- 
gies from heaven oppose the match. In the centre of the 
palace, within the inner court, stood a bay with sacred 
foliage, and for many years preserved through reverential 
awe : this father Latinus having found when first he raised 
his palace walls devoted it to Phoebus, and from it gave 
the name Laurentines to the people. On the summit of 
this tree thick clustering bees, strange to relate, sailing 
through the liquid sky, settled down with buzzing loud ; 
and having linked their feet with one another, hung from 
the leafy bough, a sudden swarm. At once the prophet 
said : We see a foreign hero coming, and an army making 
hither from the same direction, and in the fortress bearing 
sway. Again, while with holy torches Lavinia lights the 

^ Latinus, son of Faunus, antl king ot tlie aborigines in Italy, who 
from him were called Latins. 

^ Picus. a son of Saturn, and father of Faunus, reigned in Latium, 
and was feigned to have been changed by Circe into a woodpecker. 

^ Turnus, son of Daunus and Venilia, and king of the Rutuli. 

326 THE AENEID. [Book 


altar fires, and stands beside her father, she was seen, un- 
hallowed sight ! to catch the fire in her flowing hair, and to 
be singed in all her dress by the crackling flames, her royal 
locks ablaze, ablaze her coronal with jewels bright ; and 
then, still smoking, to be wrapped in dingy light, and to 
spread the fire throughout the palace. This, in truth, 
was said to be a terror-causing and a wondrous sign ; for 
seers told that she herself would be renowned by fame 
and fortune, but that to her people the augury portended 
awful war. 

But king Latinus, by such portents awed, goes to 
the oracle of Faunus, his prophetic sire, and consults his 
grove beneath Albunea's height,^ which, chief of forest 
streams, roars with its sacred flood, and, buried in gloom, 
exhales a noisome stench. From this the Italian nations 
and all (Enotria's land seek oracles in doubt. Hither, 
when the priest brought offerings, and in the silent night 
lay down on outspread skins of sheep and sought re- 
pose, he sees airy forms of many kinds flitting about in 
wondrous ways, hears strange and varied sounds, and enjoys 
the converse of the gods, and speaks with Manes in the 
nether world. Then, too, Latinus himself, seeking a 
reply, duly sacrificed an hundred fleecy ewes, and lay 
supported on their outspread skins : from the deep grove 
a sudden answer came : Seek not, my son, to join your 
daughter in Latin wedlock, and approve not of the future 
nuptials. A son-in-law will come from far, destined by his 
blood to raise our name to heaven, whose posterity shall 
see all things put beneath their feet and governed by their 
sway, where the sun, at his rising and his setting, visits 
either ocean. These words of father Faunus, and his 
warnings given in the silent night, Latinus keeps not to 
himself; but already Fame, in rapid flight, had borne the 

^ Albunea, a wood near the city Tibur and the river Anio, sacred to 
the Muses. The roar is supposed to proceed from a waterfall. 

72-136] THE AENEID. 327 

tidings far and wide through the Ausonian cities, when to ^ 
the grassy bank the Trojans moored their fleet. 

^neas and the other chiefs and fair liilus laid them 
down beneath the shade, and prepared their meal, and 
seated on the grass, they placed the flesh on sacred cakes, — 
so Jupiter himself inspired, — and on the wheaten platter they 
piled the apples of the wood. Here, as it chanced, all else 
being eaten up, when scarcity of food compelled them to 
devour the slender cakes, and to break with daring hand 
and tooth the circle of the fateful crust, and not to leave 
the quarters, flat and broad, — Holloa, liilus says, in jest, we 
eat our very tables, — and not another word. That phrase, 
when heard, first brought our labours to an end, and his 
father caught it up, and, struck by the omen, followed on. 
Forthwith he spoke : Hail, O land, destined to me by the 
Fates ! and hail, ye faithful guardian gods of Troy ! Here 
is our home, this is our country. My father Anchises, now 
I recollect, declared to me these secret Fates : When 
famine shall compel you, wafted to the strangers' shore, to 
eat your tables when your victuals fail, then confidently 
a settlement expect, and there be sure that with your hand 
you build and with a rampart fortify your earliest houses. 
This is that hunger spoken of; this the last trial that awaits 
us, and it shall put an end to our mishaps. Come, then, 
and with the dawn of day let us in joyful hope explore 
what place is this, who hold it, or where stand the cities of 
the race ; and from the port let us go forth by different 
ways. And now to Jove pour out libations, and by 
prayers invoke my sire Anchises, and serve ^ again the 

Thus having said, he binds his temples with a verdant 
bough, and supplicates the Genius of the place, and Earth, 

^ It must be observed that the preposition ab is used in reference to 
the place whence the fastening^ proceeds. 
- i.e., " renew the banquet." 

328 THE AENEID. [Book vii. 

the eldest of the gods, together with the nymphs and rivers 
yet unknown ; then Night, and the rising stars of night, 
and Idaean Jove, and, with due respect, the Phrygian 
mother Cybele, and both his parents, one in heaven, 
and one in Erebus.^ At this the almighty Father 
thrice from lofty heaven thundered in a cloudless sky, 
and from the firmament with his hand displayed a cloud 
refulgent with golden beams of quivering light. Here sud- 
denly through Trojan bands the rumour spreads that the 
day has come on which to build the destined city. With 
vying eagerness they renew the feast, and rejoicing in the 
weighty omen, they place the goblets and the bumpers fill. 

Soon as the morrow's dawn was traversing the earth 
with early beams, choosing different routes they try to 
find the city, the nation's boundaries and its coasts : 
these are the waters of Numicus, this the river Tiber, 
here the valiant Latins dwell. Then the son of Anchises 
orders a hundred deputies, selected from every rank, 
to seek the sacred palace of the king, all wreathed with 
olive boughs ; and carry presents to the hero, and ask 
a peaceful welcome for the Trojans. They stay not, but 
hasten on their way, and at rapid pace proceed, ^neas in 
person with a shallow trench marks out the walls, and 
prepares the place, and on the shore incloses his first 
home, a camp in form, with battlements and rampart. 
And now the ambassadors, their journey finished, be- 
held the towers and lofty buildings of the Latins, and 
approached the wall. Before the city boys and youths in 
the early bloom of life are trained in riding, and break 
horses for the chariot on the dusty plain ; or bend the 
eager ^ bow, or hurl the quivering dart, and challenge one 

^ i.e., Venus and Anchises. 

^ The word acres may apply to the bows, as if eager to discharge the 
arrow, or it may be joined with boys and youths in the sense of "in 
keen rivalry." 

137-184] THE AENEID. 329 

another in running or in boxing:^ when a messenger, gallop- 
ing on in haste, reports to the aged king that men of giant 
size and of strange dress have come. He orders them to 
be invited to the palace, and in the midst sat down on 
his ancestral throne. On the summit of the city stood a 
sacred building, of great extent, raised high upon a hundred 
pillars, the justice hall of Picus of Laurentum, held in 
veneration from its sacred groves and worship of their 
fathers. To receive the sceptre here, and here at first to 
raise the fasces, was the right and lucky thing for kings : 
this temple was their senate-house, this their apartment 
for their sacred feasts : here, having slain a ram, the 
fathers took their seats together at the lengthy tables. 
Moreover, in the hall the statues of their ancestors, carved 
in cedar, stood in rows : Italus, - and father Sabinus, ^ 
planter of the vine, holding, even as a statue, a curved 
pruning-hook, and the image of the two-faced Janus;'* 
and other monarchs from the origin of the race, and 
those who for country battling had their wounds sustained. 
Besides, on the sacred door-posts many arms and captive 
chariots are hung, and curved battle-axes, helmet-crests, 

^ Boxing : the Latin word is iciu, wliich by some has been translated 
" throwing the javelin." But that exercise has been already mentioned, 
while boxing has not been named : ictus and the verb iccj-e are often 
used of boxing. 

' Italus, an Arcadian prince, who is said to have established a king- 
dom in Italy, which received its name from him. Sabinus, from whom 
the Sabines were named. He received divine honours after death, and 
was one of those deities whom /Eneas invoked when he entered Italy. 

' Saturn, the son of Coelus and Terra, married his sister Ops, who 
is also called Rhea and Cybele. 

* Janus, the most ancient king of Italy, was a native of Thessaly, and 
according to some, the son of Apollo ; after death he was ranked among 
the gods. He is represented with two faces, as if looking lo the past 
and to the future. His temple at Rome, where he was chiefly 
worshipped, was always shut in time of peace, and open in time of 

330 THE AENEID. [Book vii. 

and massy gates, and darts and shields, and beaks from 
galleys torn. Picus himself, a horseman bold, sat with his 
wand of augury, wrapped in his scanty robe, and in his 
left hand held a little shield ; whom Circe, baffled in 
her base desires, smote with her golden rod, and by her 
potions changed into a bird,^ and marked his wings with 
spots. In such a temple of the gods, and seated on 
ancestral throne, Latinus called to him the Trojans ; and 
when they had entered, he addressed to them these kind 
and pleasant words : Say, sons of Dardanus,- — for your city 
and your race to us are known, and by fame renowned 
you reach our shores by sea, — what seek you ? What 
cause has brought your ships to the Ausonian coasts over 
the many shallows of the seas, and you yourselves in 
need of what assistance ? Whether through error in your 
course, or driven by storms, which things in plenty sailors 
suffer on the deep, you enter the river and in the haven 
moor, spurn not our kindness, and learn that the Latins 
are the seed of Saturn, just and upright without constraint 
or law, but hating wrong by instinct, and following the 
habit of the god of old. And, indeed, I call to mind — the 
tradition is obscure through length of time — that the sages 
of the Aurunci ^ thus told how Dardanus, a native of this 
land, reached the Idcean cities of Phrygia, and Thracian 
Samos, now called Samothracia.^ Him who went from 
his Tuscan home at Corythus the golden palace of the 
starry heavens now on a throne receives, and to the altars 
of the gods adds one for him. 

He said ; and Ilioneus replied : O king, illustrious off- 
spring of Faunus, neither has a fierce storm forced us by 
its billows to land upon your shores, nor did the stars 
or coast deceive us in our course. On set purpose and 

^ Picus was changed into a pie — magpie. 

"^ Aurunci, an ancient people of Latium, south-east of the Volsci. 

^ Samothracia, an island in the Archipelago, off the coast of Thrace. 

185-246] THE AENEID. 33 1 

with eager minds we sought this city, driven from a king- 
dom once the greatest which the sun coming from utmost 
bounds of heaven surveyed. From Jove descends our race ; 
the sons of Dardanus glory in Jove their ancestor. Our 
king himself, the Trojan ^neas, sprung from Jove's exalted 
line, sent us to your court. What a fearful storm let loose 
from fell Mycenre swept over the Idsan plain, by what dire 
destinies impelled the Continents of Europe and of Asia 
rushed into hostile struggle, has been heard both by him 
whom the earth at her utmost border, by the stream of 
ocean with returning flow,^ keeps far away, and by him 
whom the torrid zone, extended in the midst, separates 
from other men. Borne by that torrent over seas so vast, 
for our country's gods we beg a small abode, and a shore 
of peace, and the common liberty of air and water. Your 
kingdom we will not dishonour ; and no small credit shall be 
yours, nor shall our gratitude for such an action ever fade ; 
nor shall Ausonia repent that in her bosom she received 
the Trojans. I swear by the fates of yEneas, and by his 
right hand, which shows its power in friendship or in war, 
many peoples, many nations — despise us not because we 
bring these fillets in our hands and utter suppliant words — 
both wished and courted our alliance ; but the decrees of 
heaven by their unbending will have compelled us to seek 
your realm. Here Dardanus was born; hither Apollo recalls 
us, and by his urgent orders directs us to the Tuscan Tiber, 
and the sacred waters of Numicus' source, ^neas offers 
you, besides, some trifling gifts, which Fortune once 
bestowed, saved from the flames of Troy. From this golden 
bowl his sire Anchises made libations at the altar: this 
was borne by Priam, when he judged the assembled tribes — 

^ The ocean was supposed l^y the ancients to be a river flowing round 
the earth. The idea in this passage seems to be, that at its furthest part 
it flowed around an island (Britain, or Thule) ; or that it beat on the 
world's border, and so was forcibly driven back. 



[Book vii. 

the sceptre, and sacred mitre, and robes, the work of Trojan 

While Ihoneus thus speaks, Latinus wears a deep and 
thoughtful look, and gazes motionless upon the ground, 
turning from side to side his eager eyes. It is not that 
the embroidered purple moves him, nor the sceptre, Priam's 
own, as that with the marriage of his daughter he is ab- 
sorbed, and in his mind revolves the oracles of Faunus : 
he feels that this is he who, coming from a foreign home, 
is shown to be his future son-in-law, and equal sharer in his 
kingdom : that hence a race would come in valour emi- 
nent, and one which, by their power, should master all the 
world. At length with joy he says : May the gods crown 
with success our enterprise and fulfil their own predictions. 
Trojan, your wishes shall be granted, nor do I refuse your 
gifts. While Latinus is king, neither a rich and fertile soil 
nor the resources of Troy shall fail. Only let ^neas come 
in person, if such is his desire, and if he longs to join with 
us in rites of hospitahty and to be called our ally, nor let 
him dread the face of friends. To me it will be a term 
of peace to touch your prince's hand. Do you, on your 
part, bear this message to your king. I have a daughter, 
whom the oracles from my father's shrine and numerous 
prodigies from heaven forbid me with a native husband 
to unite : this destiny they say awaits our Latium, that its 
sons-in-law shall come from foreign coasts, who, in their 
descendants, shall to the stars exalt our name. That this 
is he whom Fate demands I both conclude, and, if aught 
my mind forebodes, I wish it too. 

This said, Latinus chooses horses from his stud. Li lofty 
stalls three hundred of them stood both sleek and trim. 
Forthwith he commands fleet chargers to be brought for 
all the Trojans, caparisoned with purple and embroidered 
trappings. Necklets of gold fall drooping on their chests ; 
covered with golden housings they champ the yellow bit 

247-306] THE AENEID. 333 

beneath their teeth. For ^neas, in his absence, he orders 
to be taken a chariot and a pair of horses of ethereal 
breed, from their nostrils snorting fire, of the race of 
those which crafty Circe reared without the knowledge of 
her father, — a spurious breed from a substituted mare. 
Bearing such gifts and cheering message from Latinus, the 
Trojans, proudly mounted, return and bring the news of 

But lo ! the unrelenting wife of Jove was on her way 
from Argos,^ and riding in her chariot was now well up in 
air ; and from her lofty seat she saw afar, even from Sicilian 
Pachynus, ^neas full of joy, and all the Trojan fleet. She 
sees the Trojans building houses, settling on the soil, 
and that for good their ships they've left. Stung with 
bitter grief she stopped ; then shaking her head, she poured 
forth these words : Ah ! race detested, and Fates of Troy 
opposed to ours ! Could they perish on Sigasan plains ? ^ 
when taken captives, could they be kept in bondage? 
Did Troy, when burned, burn up the men ? through the 
midst of armies, through the midst of flames they found 
their way. But I suppose the power of my divinity now 
wearied out is still, or fully sated with a glut of vengeance, 
I have given it o'er. Moreover, when they were rudely 
driven from their fatherland, I dared to follow them with 
deadly hate across the waters and over the wide ocean to 
set myself against the exiles. The powers of heaven and 
sea have been exhausted on the Trojans, ^\'hat did the 
Syrtes me avail, or Scylla, or the vast Charybdis ? In 
Tiber's wished-for channel they now are moored, regard- 
less of the seas and me. Mars was able to destroy the 
Lapithse's gigantic race ; the father of the gods himself 

^ Inachian Argos, the capital of Argolis, in Peloponnesus, was so 
called from Inachus, a son of Oceanus and Tethys, who founded the 
kingdom of Argos. 

- Sigxum, see note, ^neid, book ii. line 312. 

334 THE AENEID. [Book vii. 

gave up the ancient Calydon^ to Diana for her vengeance : 
what punishment of crime the Lapithae, or what old Caly- 
don deserving? But I, the consort of Almighty Jove, 
who have left no stone unturned, who had recourse to all 
expedients, am vanquished by ^neas. Yet if my own 
divinity fails in its power, should I hesitate to call to my aid 
whatever might exists elsewhere ? if I cannot gain the gods 
above, I'll move even hell itself. Suppose I cannot bar 
him from the Latin kingdom, and that Lavinia be destined 
as his spouse, yet I may postpone these great events and 
cause delays ; I still may slay the subjects of both kings. 
At such cost of their people's blood, let the father and the 
son-in-law be joined. Your dowry, virgin, shall be paid in 
Trojan and Rutulian blood, and Bellona- waits you as your 
bridesmaid : nor did Hecuba^ alone, pregnant with flame, 
give birth in marriage to a firebrand ; nay, to Venus too 
this son of hers shall prove a second Paris, and a fatal 
torch to Troy, as once again it rises from its ruins. 

This said, scowling down to earth she plunged. From 
the abodes of the dire sisters and the darkness of hell she 
calls up fell AUecto, whose heart's delight are rueful wars, 
wrathful violence, and treachery and deadly quarrels. Even 
her own father Pluto abhors her : her fiendish sisters 
detest the monster : so many aspects does she assume, 
so hideous are her shapes, so black with snakes that 

^ Calydon, a city of ^tolia in Greece, where CEneus, the father of 
Meleager, reigned. The king having neglected to pay homage to 
Diana, the goddess sent a wild boar to ravage the country : at last it 
was killed by Meleager. All the princes of the age assembled to hunt 
this boar, an event which has been greatly celebrated by the poets, 
under the name of the Chase of Calydon, or of the Calydonian Boar. 

2 Bellona, the goddess of war, daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, and, 
according to some, the sister and wife of Mars. 

^ Hecuba, daughter of Dymas, a Phrygian prince, or, according to 
others, of Cisseus, a Thracian king, was the second wife of Priam, king 
of Troy, and mother of Paris. 

307-358] THE AENEID. 335 

sprout all round her head. Whose hate thus Juno whets 
with words like these : Virgin, offspring of Night, perform 
for me this service, a task peculiarly your own : do your 
endeavour that my honour and my fame suffer no damage, 
nor be forced to yield ; and that the Trojans may not 
be able to circumvent Latinus by a marriage, and beset 
the soil of Italy. Even fond brothers you can array in 
mutual war, and families distract by bitter hatred ; you 
can bring scourges into houses, and the fatal torch of 
discord. Yourself under a thousand names you show ; a 
thousand are your means of mischief. Rack your fertile 
breast ; scatter to the winds this peace they've made, sow 
broadcast seeds of strife. Let the youth desire, demand, 
and seize the sword. 

Forthwith Allecto, steeped in Gorgon poison, makes first 
for Latium and the lofty palace of the Laurentine king, and 
in silence at Amata's^ chamber door she sat her down, 
whom woman's cares and woman's frets worried about the 
arrival of the Trojans and Turnus' nuptials. At her the 
goddess flings from her dark locks one of her snakes, and 
in her bosom drives it deep, that, maddened by the monster, 
she may embroil her house and home. It, gliding among 
her robes and over her smooth bosom, moves on with unfelt 
touch, and, without her knowledge, breathed its poisonous 
breath into her frenzied heart : the huge snake is now a 
twisted chain of gold around her neck, now a long ribbon 
of her fillet, and it entwines her hair, and in slippery 
mazes o'er her body creeps. And when the serpent's first 
contagious breath, stealthily entering, with humid poison 
thrills through her every sense and instils the fire into her 
bones, and while her mind has not yet fully felt the flame 
throughout her bosom, she spoke with softer accents, as 
mothers wont to do, lamenting much about her daughter 

1 Amata, the wife of king Latinus : she zealously favoured the 
interest of Turnus against /Eneas. 

336 THE AENEID. [Book vii. 

and the Phrygian match : And is Lavinia, father, given in 
marriage to Trojan exiles ? have you no pity on your 
daughter, or yourself? Have you no pity on her mother, 
whom with the first fair wind the faithless pirate will 
desert, and bear the maiden off to sea ? Was it not thus 
the Phrygian shepherd into Lacedaemon stole, and Helen, 
Leda's daughter, to the Trojan city bore away ? What of 
your solemn pledge, what of your former love of friends, 
and your hand so often given to kinsman Turnus ? If a 
son-in-law is sought for the Latins from a foreign state, and 
if that is fixed, and the commands of father Faunus weigh 
upon your mind, all lands I reckon foreign which lie apart, 
nor fealty own : this is what the gods intend. But if his 
origin be traced, his grandsires were Inachus and Acrisius,^ 
and he himself's a pure Mycenian. 

When Latinus she had tried in vain, and found his 
mind unmoved, and when the serpent's maddening poison 
had now sunk deeply in and permeates her frame, then, 
hapless woman, agitated by awful phantasies, she rages in 
delirium through the city : as at times a top whirling under 
the twisted thong, which boys intent on sport whip in 
great circles round some empty court ; it, driven by the 
scourge, is carried round and round in curves ; the innocent 
and youthful throng bend over it " with open mouth and 
eyes," wondering at the flying box ;- the lashes lend it life, — 
with no less rapid course the queen is hurried on through 
midst of cities and excited tribes. Nay more, she rushes 
to the woods, feigning the influence of Bacchus, to cause a 
greater scandal and wilder frenzy, and hides her daughter 
in the wooded hills, that she may cheat the Trojans of the 
marriage and delay the nuptials : shouting, Evoe Bacchus, 
and loudly exclaiming that you alone, O Bacchus, are 

^ Acrisius, king of Argos, was descended from Inachus, its founder, 
and was one of Turnus' ancestors. 

" Tops were usually made of boxwood. 

359-421] THE AENEID. 337 

worthy of the maiden ; for, in honour of you, the thyrsus 
she assumes, round you she circles in the dance, to you she 
consecrates her locks and lets them grow. Rumour spreads 
fast, and soon an equal zeal drives all the women, with 
minds by fury mad, to seek strange homes. Their houses 
they at once abandon, and to the winds commit their necks 
and hair. But others fill the heaven with wild and faltering 
howls, and clad in skins they carry wands with leaves of 
vines bedecked. In thickest of the crowd, she bears on high 
a blazing torch, and loud proclaims the wedding-day of 
Turnus and her child, rolling wild her bloodshot eyes ; and 
suddenly she fiercely cries : Ho, Latin mothers, hear, 
where'er you be : if in your kindly hearts you feel some pity 
for Amata's woes, and if a care for mothers' rights affects 
your minds, unbind the fillets of your hair, and now begin 
with me the orgies of the god. So among the woods, 
among the wild beasts' haunts, Allecto plies the queen on 
every side with spurs of Bacchus' fury. 

Now when she saw that she had raised mad passions in 
her earliest victim, and had upset Latinus' plan and all his 
home, the vicious goddess soars on dusky wings to the bold 
Rutulian's town — a city which Danae^ founded of old for 
her Acrisian settlers, driven there by boisterous winds. 
The place by ancient men was first called Ardea ; and 
Ardea still retains its noble name,^ but its greatness is no 
more. Here, in his lofty palace, Turnus enjoyed repose at 
midnight hour. Allecto lays aside her hideous shape and 
Fury's limbs : into a crone she changes, and with wrinkles 
tracks her loathsome face : grey hair with woolly fillet she 
assumes, and in it binds an olive spray : she takes the form 
of Calybe, Juno's aged priestess, and with tliese words 
stands full before the youth : Turnus, will )ou suffer so 

^ Danae, the daughter of Acrisuis, king of Argos : she fled to Italy, 
and founded the city of Ardea, the capital of the Rutuli. 
■•^ i.e., " a name, and nothing more.'' 

338 THE AENEID. [Book vir. 

many labours to be lost for nought, and your sceptre to 
be passed to Trojan colonists ? The king refuses you the 
marriage and dowry-kingdom which with your blood you 
earned ; and a foreigner is sought to fill his throne. Go 
now, thus mocked, expose yourself to thankless dangers : 
go, o'erthrow the Tuscan armies ; by your protection 
give the Latins constant peace. This message, then. 
Almighty Juno bid me tell you plainly as you lay asleep 
by night. Then come, and in joyous hope command the 
youth to arm and march to war, and the Phrygian leaders, 
who by the beauteous stream have pitched their camp, ex- 
tirpate, with their painted ships. Heaven's mighty power 
commands. Let king Latinus feel it, if he declines to 
ratify your marriage and accept your terms, and at length 
experience Turnus and his arms. 

Deriding the prophetess, the youth replies : The news 
has not escaped me, as you fancy, that a fleet has reached 
the waters of the Tiber — feign not such fears on my 
account ; for me imperial Juno ne'er forgets ; but age, old 
" Mammy," weakened by disease, unable to conceive true 
views, worries you with needless cares, and mocks your power 
of foresight midst visions of fierce warring kings. Your 
duty is to heed the statues and the temples of the gods : 
men, by whom wars must needs be made, will deal with 
war and peace. 

AUecto blazed forth in passion. But as he speaks, a 
sudden shiver thrills the youth : his eyeballs stiffen : with 
snakes so many does the Fury hiss, into a shape so huge 
and horrid does she change. Then wildly waving her fiery 
torch, she spurned him from her, as he falters and attempts 
to speak, and in her hair she reared two snakes, and 
cracked her whip, and added this in words of fury: Ah! 
here I am, " weakened by disease," whom " age, unable to 
conceive true views, mocks with false fear midst wars of 
kings." Look here : I come from the abode of the dire 

422-487] THE AENEID, 339 

sisters ; wars and death in my hand I bear. Thus having 
spoken, she flung a firebrand at the youth, and planted in 
his breast the torch still smoking with its murky light. 
Dread terror broke his rest, and sweat bursting from every 
pore bathes his bones and limbs. Frantic he madly calls 
aloud for arms, for arms he searches in both bed and 
house : a passion for the sword, a cursed madness after war, 
and indignation most of all, rage in his breast. As when 
with crackling loud a fire of thorns is lit beside a quivering 
caldron, and by the heat the liquid dances up ; within, the 
steaming water furiously boils and overflows with foam, nor 
does the wave now check itself: in vapour dense it heaven- 
ward flies. Therefore he bids his captains to march to 
king Latinus and disturb the peace, to make ready imple- 
ments of war and defend Italy, and from their territories 
drive the foe : saying that he himself is a match for all the 
forces of Troy and of Latinus. When he had thus spoken, 
and had invoked the gods, the Rutulians, with rival zeal, 
encourage one another to the war. His distinguished mien 
and youthful beauty fire the hearts of some ; others his 
noble ancestry ; others again his own great deeds of valour. 
While Turnus the warlike spirit of the Rutulians thus 
rouses, AUecto, on Stygian wings, towards the Trojans 
speeds her flight : having with fresh artifice espied a spot 
of shore where fair liilus hunted game by snares and by 
pursuit. Upon this the Fury from Cocytus suddenly gives 
to his hounds a mad incitement, and affects their nostrils 
with the ■ well-known scent, in order that with keenest 
ardour they might run down a deer ; this was the moving 
cause of all their sufferings, and to war it fired the minds 
of the rustics. There was a stag of beauteous shape and 
splendid horns, which, when weaned, the sons of Tyrrhus 
used to feed, as also father Tyrrhus did, to whom was 
given the charge of all the royal herds and pastures round. 
Their sister Silvia, with her utmost care, was wont to deck the 

340 THE AENEID. [Book vii. 

tame and gentle beast, wreathing its horns with garlands, 
and combed him too, and bathed him in the crystal foun- 
tain. Fond to be handled, and accustomed in his stall to 
feed, he would roam the woods, and of his own accord 
would home return at night, however late. Him, as he 
strayed at distance from the house, the keen dogs of liilus 
raised, when, as it chanced, he floated down the stream, 
and cooled himself upon the grassy bank. Ascanius him- 
self, too, fired with the love of praise, aimed arrows at 
him with his bended bow ; nor failed the god to help his 
prentice hand, and the shaft, with whizzing sound impelled, 
pierced his belly and his flanks. But wounded, he fled to 
his familiar homestead, and groaning reached his stall ; 
all bloody, and with an imploring look he filled the house 
with moans. Sister Silvia, beating her arms with her hands, 
implores aid, shouting for the sturdy rustics. They — for the 
savage fiend lurks silent in the woods — suddenly appear ; 
one armed with a brand charred in the fire, one with 
a sturdy knotted club ; passion uses as weapons whatever 
each in hurried search had found. Tyrrhus, panting with 
rage, seizes his axe, for then, as it chanced, he was cleaving 
an oak with driven wedges, and calls upon his men. But 
the savage goddess, from her place of observation having 
found a time for mischief, flies to the roof, and from its 
highest point she sounds the shepherd's call, and in the 
winding horn she strains her hellish voice, with which 
every grove was shaken, and the woods re-echoed to their 
depths. Even the lake of Diana heard it from afar ; the 
Nar,^ white with sulphureous water, heard it, and the waters 
of Velinus too ; and terror-stricken mothers pressed their 

1 Nar (Nera), a river of Italy, rises in the Appenines, and forming a 
junction with the Velinus, flows with great rapidity, falling ultimately 
into the Tiber. Its waters are celebrated for their sulphureous pro- 
perties. Velinus also rises in the Appenines, and after forming a lake 
near the town of Reate, joins the Nar near Spoletium. 

488-550] THE AENEID. 34I 

infants to their breasts. Then, at the sound by which the 
trumpet clanged alarm, the hardy rustics seize their arms 
and from all sides flock together ; and no less readily the 
youth of Troy open the gates and in crowds pour forth 
to help Ascanius. The lines are ranged. Nor now in 
rustic skirmish do they meet with hardened clubs and 
stakes burned at the point, but with the two-edged steel 
they fight it out, and a horrid crop of swords unsheathed 
starts up with spiky heads, and the brazen weapons glitter 
in the sun, and flash the light to heaven ; like as when 
with the first breath of wind the wave begins to whiten, 
the sea rises by degrees, and higher and higher heaves its 
waters, then from the lowest depths mounts to the clouds 
in swelling heaps. Here, before the foremost line, young 
Almo, eldest of the sons of Tyrrhus, is by a whizzing 
arrow slain ; for in his throat the dart stuck fast, and with 
the blood it stopped the passage of the voice and breath. 
Round him many heroes fall, even old Galsesus, while he 
comes between to make the peace : a man who was of all 
most famed for love of justice, and formerly the richest in 
Ausonian lands. YWe flocks of sheep, five herds of kine 
came daily home from pasture ; and with an hundred 
ploughs he turned the soil. 

And now, whilst o'er the plain an equal fight is waged, 
the goddess, when she'd made her promise good, and 
drenched the field with blood, and had begun the havoc 
of the first encounter, leaves Hesperia, and wheeling 
round up heaven's slope, proud of her success, addresses 
Juno : See discord brought for you to full maturity in 
bitter war ! Just bid them now unite in amity and form 
their treaties. Since I have stained the Trojans with 
Ausonian blood, to these things will I add this also, if 
I am assured of your consent : the neighbouring towns 
by rumours will I urge to battles, and inflame their 
minds with frantic love of war, that from all sides 

342 THE AENEID. [Book vii. 

auxiliaries may come : arms will I scatter over all the 
land. Then Juno in return : Of panics and of fraud 
there is enough : well-grounded are the causes of a war ; 
in arms they combat hand to hand; the weapons which 
mere chance supplied first blood has stained. Such 
marriage and such nuptial rites let Venus' "precious" 
brood and king Latinus celebrate. Almighty Father, ruler 
of heaven supreme, may not wish that you should roam 
with farther freedom in this upper air. Begone from here. 
What the chance of war may further need I will myself 
direct. These words Saturnia uttered : at which the Fury 
raises her wings, hissing with snakes, and hies to her 
home Cocytus, leaving the realms on high. In the centre 
of Italy, at the base of lofty mountains, lies a place well 
known, and celebrated by fame in many regions, the valley 
of Ampsanctus :^ it, darkened by dense foliage, a wooded 
hillside bounds on either hand, and in the middle of the 
grove a mountain stream tumbling among the stones makes 
roaring noise. Here are shown an awful cavern and the 
breathing-holes ^ of cruel Pluto, and a vast whirlpool from 
Acheron's o'erflow expands its pestilential jaws; plunging 
into which, the Fury, power detested, relieved both earth 

and sky. 

Meanwhile, with no less zeal Saturnian Juno to the 
opening war gives final impulse. From the battle to the 
city the shepherds rush and carry the slain — the youthful 
Almo, and Galoesus, his face with wounds disguised— and 
they implore the gods, and adjure Latinus. Turnus is 
present, and in the furious outcry at the slaughter, 
aggravates the terror; saying that the Trojans are invited 
to share the kingdom; that a Phrygian race is being 
mixed with theirs; that he himself is driven from the 

1 Ampsanctus, a pestilential lake near Capua, in Italy, supposed by 
the poets to be the entrance to the infernal regions. 

2 Le. , the vents through which the mephitic vapour exhales. B. 

55i-6o6] THE AENEID. 343 

palace. Then those whose v.ives, inspired by Bacchus, 
roam the pathless woods in choirs — for Amata's name 
had no small power — gather from all sides, and cry aloud 
"War," "War." All, under evil spell, demand accursed 
war against the omens, against even heaven's decrees. 
In their eagerness they surround the palace of Latinus. 
He withstands them like an ocean-rock unmoved, like an 
ocean-rock beneath a coming billow's crash, which by its 
massy size maintains its ground, though many waves upon 
it dash ; the peaks and foamy cliffs all round roar with 
the surges, but to no effect, and the sea-weed dashed 
against its sides is driven back. But when he is unable 
to prevail against their blind resolve,^ and w'hen matters 
move at beck of cruel Juno, Latinus, with many protesta- 
tions to the gods and empty air in vain, exclaims : Alas ! 
by the Fates we're crushed, and carried onward by the 
tempest ! O wretched citizens, yourselves with your sacri- 
legious blood shall pay the penalty for this. You, Turnus, 
vengeance for this impiety will await, you a stern punish- 
ment will overtake, and when too late you will implore 
the gods. Rest is assured for me, and the haven is full 
in view : I am deprived of nought but a happy death. 
He ceased ; and shut in his palace, laid down the reins 
of government. 

In ancient Latium it was a custom, which tlic Alban 
cities handed on as sacred, and which Rome, the mistress 
of the world, now strictly follows, when first they rouse the 
god of war to battle ; whether with the Getas ^ they prepare 
to wage a tearful contest, or with the Hyrcanians, or the 
Arabs, or to go against the Indians, and the remotest east, 
and from the Parthians redemand the standards. There are 

^ Ciccum consiliuiii may mean eillicr the blind resolve of Turnus and 
the people, or the hidden purpose of Juno and the Fury. 

" The Gctre were a people of European Scythia, inhabiting part of 
Dacia near the mouth of the Danube. 

344 THE AENEID. [Book vil. 

two gates of war — so they are called — deemed sacred from 
superstitious veneration and the awe-inspiring presence : 
a hundred brazen bolts and strongest bars of iron shut 
them fast ; and guardian Janus stirs not from the thresh- 
old. When the Fathers have resolved on war, the consul, 
conspicuous in the robe of Romulus and with the Gabine 
cincture, unlocks the creaking portals : himself calls forth 
the battle-sprites : then all the youth follow his lead, and 
the brazen cornets blow at once in hoarse assent. In this 
mode too Latinus then was urged to declare war against 
the Trojans, and unfold those gates of sorrow. The good 
old king refrained from touching them, and with abhorrence 
shrank from the hated office, and shut himself up in secret 
retirement. Then the queen of the gods, shooting from 
the sky, with her own hand pushed violently the reluctant 
gates, and, Saturn's daughter though she was, she threw 
wide-open the iron-bound doors of war on turning hinge. 
Ausonia, previously at rest and still, is all on fire. 
Some prepare to take the field on foot ; some, mounted on 
their steeds, rush wildly round midst clouds of dust : all 
seek for arms. Some rub their bucklers with rich fat to 
make them smooth, and polish bright their spears, and whet 
their axes on the stone : it pleases them to bear the stand- 
ards, and to listen to the trumpet's sound. In all, five 
wealthy cities mount their anvils and renew their weapons. 
Atina^ the powerful, and Tibur the exalted, Ardea and 
Crustumeri, and Antemnoe with its "diadem of towers." 
They hollow trusty coverings for their heads, and bend the 
osier hurdles as framework of their shields : others beat 

^ Atina, a city of the Volsci. Tivoli, the ancient Tibur, a city of the 
Sabines, about sixteen miles north-east of Rome, delightfully situated 
on the banks of the Anio : it was a favourite country residence of 
the Romans. Ardea, the capital of the Rutuli. Crustumerium and 
AntemuK, towns of the Sabines : the latter was situated near the conflu- 
ence of the Anio and Tiber. 

6o7-66i] THE AENEID. 345 

out the brazen corslets, or from ductile silver mould the 
polished greaves. To this, all regard of the share and 
pruning-hook gives way, to this all love for the plough. 
In furnaces they forge their fathers' swords anew. And 
now the trumpets sound : the tessera, battle-token, passes 
round. One, with palpitating heart, takes his helmet from 
his house ; another yokes his neighing steeds, and braces 
on his buckler and his mail with three-ply chains of gold, 
and to his side he girds his trusty sword. 

Now open Helicon,^ ye goddesses, and inspire my song : 
what kings were stirred to war ; what troops following each 
leader filled the plain ; with what heroes even then the 
fruitful land of Italy abounded, what hosts it had, and what 
a martial spirit burned. For you, O goddesses, both re- 
member and can relate : to us a faint breath of fame is 
wafted down. 

First there advances to the war the fierce Mezentius,^ 
from the Tuscan coasts, despiser of the gods, and arms his 
troops. Conjoined with him was Lausus, his son, than 
whom none was nobler in form save Turnus of Laurentum. 
Lausus, famed horseman and famed hunter, from Agylla leads 
a thousand men, — all for nought,^— worthy of a better train- 
ing, and whose father should have been — not a Mezentius. 

Next princely Aventinus comes, son of the noble Hercules, 
and on the grassy plain he proudly shows his chariot decked 
with palm-leaf, and his victorious steeds, and on his shield 
he bears his sire's device, a hundred snakes and a hydra 
begirt with serpents ; whom in the wooded hill of Aventine 
the priestess Rhea in secret bore, a mortal mixing with a 

1 Helicon, a celebrated mountain of Bceotia, sacred to Apollo and the 
Muses, from which issued the fountains Hippocrene and Aganippe. 

^ Mezentius, king of the Tyrrhenians, was expelled by his subjects on 
account of his cruelties, when he tied to Turnus, who employed him in 
his war against the Trojans. He and his son Lausus were slain by 

"* Because he was never to return. 

346 THE AENEID. [Book vii. 

god, when the Tirynthian hero ^ reached the Laurentine 
fields as conqueror of slaughtered Geryon, and bathed 
his Spanish bulls in Tuscan stream. For war they carry in 
their hands the javelin and the horrid pike, and fight with 
polished spear and Sabine dart. Himself on foot, wearing 
a lion's shaggy hide, uncombed and bristly fierce, and 
having on his head the skin, with grinning teeth displayed, 
entered the palace, hideous to behold, his shoulders 
wrapped in robe of Hercules. 

Two brothers next come from the walls of Tibur, — a 
race called from their brother's name Tiburtus, — Catilus 
and the valiant Coras, Argive youths, and they advance 
before the van, even amidst showers of darts : as when 
two cloudborn Centaurs from the hills descend, leaving 
Homole '^ and snowy Othrys at rapid speed ; the forest 
parts before them as they go, and with noisy crash the 
brushwood yields. 

Nor did Cseculus, founder of Pr^neste,^ fail, whom after 
ages reputed Vulcan's son, begotten in the shepherds' 
haunts, and found amidst the embers. Him a rustic band 
accompanies from far and near around : both those who 
dwell in high Praeneste, and those who cultivate the 
fields of Gabine Juno, or the Anio's cool stream and the 
mountain towns of the Hernicans,^ watered with rills : 
whom you, fertile Anagnia, whom you, father Amasenus, 
feed. These are not all supplied with metal armour, no 

1 Tirynthian hero, a name of Hercules, from Tiryns, a town of 
ArgoHs in Peloponnesus, where he was said to have been brought up. 

- Homole and Othrys, two lofty mountains in Thessaly, once the 
residence of the Centaurs. 

^ Prieneste (Palestrina), a city of Patium, about twenty-four miles 
east from Rome, supposed to have been built by Calculus, the son of 

* Plernicans, a people of Campania, who were inveterate enemies of 
the Romans. Anagnia, a city of the Plernici. Amasenus (La Toppia), 
a river of Latium, falling into the Tyrrhene Sea. 

662-710] THE AENEID. 347 

shields or chariots make a rattling sound : most leaden 
bullets sling : some carry in the hand two javelins, and 
for covering to their heads wear tawny beavers of the fur 
of wolves : these walk with left foot bare, an untanned 
shoe protects the right. 

Messapus,^ horseman bold, Neptune's own son, whom 
none may slay by fire or sword, suddenly calls forth to 
arms his people, now at listless ease, and bands unused 
to war, and wields again the sword. These lead Fescen- 
nia's troops, and ^qui Falisci ; 2 those possess the strong- 
holds of Soracte,^ and the Flavinian land, and the lake 
and mountain of Ciminus, and Capena's groves. They 
marched with measured tread, and sang the praises of their 
king: as when at times the snow-white swans in liquid 
clouds return from pasture, and from their necks pour 
forth melodious notes; the river Cayster and the Asian 
lake, struck from far, return the sound. Nor would 
you think these brass-clad lines are formed from such 
a multitude, but that a flock of hoarse-voiced birds is 
hastening from the deep abyss to land. Lo ! Clausus,"' 
of tlie ancient Sabine blood, came on, with mighty host, 
he too "a host in himself," — Clausus, from whom the 
Claudian tribe and clan are now through Latium diffused, 
from the time that Rome was to the Sabines given in 
part. With them Amiternum's ^ numerous bands, and the 

^ Messapus, a son of Neptune, who left Boeotia, and came to settle 
in Italy, where he assisted Turnus against ^neas. 

2 /Equi Falisci, a people of Elruria, originally a Macedonian colony. 
Some make /Equos a common adjective, meaning " famed for equity." 
Fescennia, also a town of Etruria. 

" Soracte (M. S. Oreste), a mountain of Etruria, about twenty-six 
miles north of Rome, sacred to Apollo. Flavinia and Copena, towns 
of Etruria. Ciminus, a mountain and lake of Etruria. 

* Clausus, king of the Sabines. He was said to be the progenitor of 
Ap. Claudius, the founder of the Claudian famil\-. 

' Amitcrnum, Erctum, and Mutusca, towns of the Sabines. 

348 THE AENEID. [Book vii. 

ancient Quirites,^ the might of Eretum, and of the olive- 
bearing Mutusca; those who inhabit the city Nomentum, 
and the Rosean plains of Velinus, the rocks of rugged 
Tetrica,^ and Mount Severus, Casperia, and Foruli, and 
the river Himella ; ^ those who drink the Tiber and the 
Fabaris ; those whom cold Nursia sent, the Hortine squad- 
rons, and the Latin nations ; and those whose territory 
AUia ■* drains, an inauspicious name : numerous as the 
billows roll in the Libyan main, when Orion sinks in fury 
in the wintry waves ; or as many as the ears of corn, 
when scorched by the sun's first heat on Hermus' plain, 
or in Lycia's yellowing fields. Their bucklers ring, and 
earth echoes, startled by their prancing tread. Next 
Halsesus,^ of Agamemnon's race, foe to the Trojan name, 
to the chariot yokes his steeds and hurries to Turnus' aid 
a thousand warlike tribes ; those who with hoes break up 
the soil of Massic slopes, fertile in vines, and whom the 
Auruncan fathers sent from their lofty hills, and those 
who till the neighbouring plains of Sidicinum ; ^ those 
who march from Cales, and who border on Vulturnus, 
with its many fords ; together with the hardy natives of 

' Quirites : the Sabines were so called from the town of Cures which 
they inhabited ; the name was also given to the citizens of Rome after 
their union with the Sabines. 

^ Tetrica and Severus, mountains in the country of the Sabines, near 
the river Fabaris. Casperia and Foruli, towns of the Sabines. 

^ Himella and Fabaris, rivers of the Sabines ; the former falls into 
the Tiber below Cures. Nursia and Hortanum, towns of the Sabines. 

* Allia, a rivei of Italy, falling into the Tiber. On its banks the 
Romans were defeated with great slaughter by the Gauls under Brennus, 
B.C. 390. Hence it was deemed inauspicious. 

^ Halesus, a son of Agamemnon and Briseis, or of Clytemnestra. 
Having been driven from home, he came to Italy, where he settled 
on Mount Massicus, in Campania. 

^ Sidicinum and Cales, towns of Campania, in'Italy. Vulturnus, a 
river of Campania, rising in the Appenines, and falling into the Tyrrhene 
Sea, after passing near the city of Capua. 

711-749] THE AENEID. 349 

Saticula/ and the Oscan troops. Their weapons are round- 
shafted clubs, but their custom is to fit them with a pHant 
thong. A small target covers their left arms ; for close 
fight they have scimitars. 

Nor CEbalus - shall you be in my verses left unsung, 
borne to Telon, as the story is, by njmph Sebethis, when, 
now advanced in years, he held Capreee, Teleboan realms. 
But the son, not satisfied with his father's realm, even at 
that time extended his rule far and wide over the Sarrastes,^ 
and the plains which Sarnus waters. Those also who in- 
habit Rufr£e and Batulum, and the fields of Celemna, and 
those whom the walls of fruit-bearing Abella overlook ; 
who, after the Teutonic fashion, are wont to sling cateian 
darts ;* whose helmets are the rind fresh from the cork- 
tree pulled, and whose half-moon shields and swords are 
made of glittering brass. 

And you, too, Ufens,^ hilly Nersae sent to the war, 
well known by reputation, and by success in battle, whose 
subjects are the /Equiculi, a savage race, bred in a hardened 
soil, inured to frequent hunting in the woods. With their 
weapons by their side they till their fields, and ever take 
delight in gathering recent booty, and in living on their 

^ Saticula, a town of the Samnitcs, east of Capua. Osci, a people 
between Campania and the country of the Volsci. 

2 CEbalus, a son of Telon, king of the Telcboans, a people of ^tolia, 
in Greece, and the nymph Sebethis. The Teleboans under CEbalus 
settled in Capreae (Capri), an island on the coast of Campania, in 

3 Sarrastes, a people of Campania, on the river Sarnus, which divides 
that country from the Picentini, and falls into the Bay of Naples. 
RufrK, Sec, towns of Campania. 

•• Perhaps resembling the " aclydes" in vs. 730. 

' Ufens, a river of Latium, falling into the Tyrrhene Sea near Tarra- 
cina. NersK, a town of Umbria in Italy. /Equiculi. a people of Latium 
near Tibur. 

350 THE AENEID. [Book vri. 

There came, moreover, from the Marruvian nation, Umbro^ 
the priest, bravest of the brave, sent by his chief, Archippus, 
his helmet wreathed with leaves of the auspicious olive ; 
who by charms and by his hand v/as wont to lull to 
sleep the viper's race, and hydras of foul and poisonous 
breath ; their fury he assuaged, and by his art disarmed 
their stings. But to cure the hurt of Trojan steel surpassed 
his power ; nor soporific charms, nor herbs of Marsian 
mountains availed him aught against its wounds. For 
you, Angitia's grove, for you, Fucinus, with his crystal 
waters, for you the glassy lakes lamented. 

Virbius,^ too, son of Hippolytus, of noblest form and 
mien, marched to the war ; whom his mother Aricia ^ 
sent forth in splendid armour, reared in Egeria's groves, 
near the humid shores, where stands the rich and kindly 
altar of Diana. For legend tells that Hippolytus, when 
by his step-dame's art he perished, and being torn in 
pieces by his frighted steeds, with his blood had paid 
the penalty to his father due, came once again to 
upper earth and viewed the stars of heaven, recalled 
to life by healing herbs and kind Diana's love. Then 
almighty Jove, incensed that mortal should from the 
infernal shades rise to the light of life, himself with 
thunder hurled to the Stygian floods Apollo's off- 
spring, the author of such medicine and such skill. 
But Diana, in her kindness, hides Hippolytus in lonely 

^ Umbro, a general of the Marsi, whose capital, Marrubium, was 
situated on the banks of the lake Fucinus. Angitia, a wood in the 
country of the Marsi, between Alba and the lake Fucinus (L. di 

^ Virbius, a name given to Hippolytus after he had been restored to 
life by ^sculapius at the instance of Diana, who pitied his unfortunate 
end. Virgil makes him the son of Hippolytus. 

^ Aricia, an Athenian, whom Hippolytus married, after he had been 
restored to life by ^sculapius. Egeria, a nymph of Aricia in Italy, 
where Diana was particularly worshipped. 

75o-8oi] THE AENEID. 35 1 

coverts, and consigns him to Egeria's grove ; where in 
soHtude obscure he might hve for ever in the ItaHan 
woods, and change to Virbius, with an altered name. On 
which account steeds are debarred from Trivia's ^ temple 
and her sacred groves, because, scared by sea-monsters, 
they overturned the driver and his car upon the shore. 
Yet, notwithstanding this, on the level plain the son his 
horses trained, and in his chariot rushed to war. 

Turnus himself, of commanding mien, among the fore- 
most moves in armour clad, and by a head o'ertops them 
all. Whose towering helmet, with three-crested plume, bears 
a Chima;ra breathing from its jaws flames copious as Etna's. 
The bloodier the fight becomes, the more outrageous does 
she grow, and more savage with her baleful fire. An lo, 
with horns erect and formed of gold, adorned his polished 
shield ; an lo, already covered with coarse hair, already 
become a heifer — a splendid device ; and Argus,^ the 
guardian of the maiden, and father Inachus pouring forth 
his river-stream from a sculptured urn. A cloud of 
infantry succeeds, and shielded battalions in condensed 
array o'erspread the plain ; the Argive youth, and the 
Ausonian bands, the Rutuli, and Sicanians, early settlers ; 
the Sacranian hosts, and the Labici with their painted 
bucklers : those, Tiberinus, who cultivate your glades, 
and the sacred banks of Numicus, and with the plough- 
share labour the Rutulian hills and Circe's ridge; lands 
which Jupiter of Anxur^ overlooks, and Feronia rejoicing 
in her verdant grove, where lies the gloomy fen of Saturn, 

^ Trivia, a name given to Diana, because she presided over all places 
where three roads met. 

- Argus, feigned to have a hundred eyes, of which only two were 
asleep at once. Juno sent him to watch lo. 

^ Anxur, a city of the Volsci in Latium, sacred to Jupiter, whose 
temple was on a height and overlooked the adjacent country. Feronia, 
a Roman goddess, the mother of Herilus ; she had the care of woods 
and orchards. 

352 THE AENEID. [Book vii. 

and where Ufens, with his icy waters, seeks a channel 
through the valley's depths, and hides him in the sea. 
In addition to these came Camilla^ of the Volscian 
nation, leading a troop of horse and bands of foot, with 
brazen armour bright, a virgin warrior she, who to distaff 
and to woman's needle-work ne'er lent her hands, but, 
maiden though she was, essayed the hard-fought fight, and 
in speed of foot was able to outstrip the winds. Over the 
standing grain she'd fly, nor damage in her course the 
tender ears ; or along the deep would skim, buoyant on the 
swelling waves, nor with her nimble soles once touch the 
watery plain. At her would crowds of men and matrons, 
rushing from the houses and the fields, gaze with wonder, 
and with their eyes would follow her in distant flight, agape 
in their astonishment to see how royal purple mantles on 
her shoulders soft and plump; how a golden clasp confines 
her hair ; with what grace she bears her Lycian quiver, and 
a shepherd's myrtle spear with head of steel. 

1 Camilla, queen of the Volsci, was the daughter of Metabus and 


In the Eighth Book Jineas forms an alliance with Evander, who sends 
to his assistance a chosen body of men under his son Pallas. Venus 
presents yEneas with a suit of armour fabricated by Vulcan : on the 
shield are represented the future glory and triumph of the Romans. 

When Turnus on Laurentum's towers had raised the 
battle-flag and with hoarse notes the horns brayed forth, 
and when he roused the mettle of the horses, and clashed 
together shield and spear, forthwith the minds of men 
were stirred, and at once all Latium bands together in wild 
excitement, and a more savage spirit fills the young. The 
captains, Messapus and Ufens, and the godless Mezentius, 
are first to collect their troops from all sides called, and 
from the fields withdraw the husbandmen. Moreover, to 
the city of great Diomedc Venulus is sent to beg his aid, 
and to tell him that the Trojans are setting foot on Latium; 
that /Eneas, coming in his fleet, is bringing in his con- 
quered household gods, and is declaring that him the Fates 
demand as king ; that many tribes are joining the Dardan 
prince, and that his name is gaining ground through all the 
land. What he aims at by these measures, what result 
of the war he expects if fortune attend him, he knows better 
than king Turnus or king Latinus. 

So matters stood in Latium. The Trojan prince, seeing 
all this, is driven to and fro by a strong tide of troubles, 
and turns his rapid mind now here, now there, and 
hurries it to various objects, and ponders all again, and 
yet again : like as when in brazen caldrons the tremulous 
light of water, reflected from the sun, or from the image of 
the radiant moon, flits over every place around, and now is 


354 THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

darted upwards, and strikes the ceiling of the lofty roof. 
It was night, and deep sleep had enchained all wearied 
animals in every land, both cattle and the flying kind; 
when on the bank, and beneath the sky's cold canopy, 
yEneas, perplexed in mind by this untoward war, lay 
down, and suffered sleep to spread, though late, through 
all his hmbs. To him father Tiberinus, god of the place, 
seemed to rise from the delightful stream among the poplar 
leaves : a linen robe enwrapped his limbs in sea-green folds, 
and a crown of reeds covered his head. Then thus he ad- 
dressed him, and with these words relieved his cares : 

O offspring of the gods, who bring to us Troy saved 
from its foes, and preserve the towers of Pergamus, hence- 
forth imperishable, O long looked for on Laurentine soil 
and Latin realms, here is your sure abode, here is your 
certain home : desist not, nor fear the threats of war ; all 
the anger and the grudges of the gods have ceased. And 
now, that you may not think that sleep makes up these 
visionary dreams, you will find a sow lying on the ground 
under the holm-oaks on the river bank, having brought 
forth a litter of thirty young — white herself, white the suck- 
lings at her teats : [that will be the site of your city, that a 
sure rest from your toils:] in fulfilment of which omen, 
after thirty revolving years Ascanius shall found Alba, a 
city of illustrious name. I tell you things which bear no 
doubt. Now attend : I will briefly show you by what 
means you may carry to success the work in hand. On 
these coasts the Arcadians, a race descended from Pallas, 
who followed their king Evander'^ and his standards, 

^ Evander, an Arcadian, and the grandson of Pallas, left his native 
city, Pallanteum, probably in consequence of parricide, committed at 
the instigation of his mother Nicostrata or Carmentis (Servius on vs. 
51), and founded a city in Latium, called after the mother state. 
Afterwards the Romans called it the Palatium. It was the most sacred 
and hallowed part of Rome. 

25-86] THE AENEID. 355 

chose out a spot and among the hills a city built called 
Pallanteum, from name of ancient Pallas, — these with the 
Latin race maintain a constant war. Them to your camp 
admit as allies, and form a treaty. I myself will guide you 
straight along my channel, that sailing up you may by 
rowing overcome the current's force. Arise, bestir yourself, 
O goddess-born, and at earliest dawn to Juno offer prayers, 
and by suppliant vows disarm her anger and her threats. 
To me due honours you shall pay when you have gained 
success. I am the azure Tiber, a river by heaven beloved, 
whom you behold grazing the banks with brimming stream, 
dividing fertile lands. Here is my home ; midst noble 
cities is my source. 

He said, then in the pool he hid himself from view, 
plunging to its depths : from ^neas night and sleep de- 
parted. Up he starts, and gazing at the sun's new beams, 
with due devotion in his hollowed palm he holds some 
water from the stream, and to the gods these words pours 
forth : Ye nymphs, ye Laurentine nymphs, whence rivers 
have their origin ! ^ and you, O father Tiber, with your 
sacred flood receive /Eneas, and at length from dangers 
save. In whatever source your home may be, who feel 
for our distress, from whatever soil you spring, fairest on 
earth, to you my worship and my offerings I will ever 
bring. O horned monarch of Italian streams, be near to 
aid us, and with present deity your omens seal. Thus he 
speaks ; and from his fleet selects two galleys, fits with oars ; 
and the crews with arms supplies. 

But lo ! a strange and sudden prodigy appears — a 
sow all white with her litter in the wood had laid her 
down, and on the grassy bank is seen, which to you, O 
mighty Juno, the good /Eneas at the altar slays together 
with her brood. That livelong night the Tiber stayed his 

^ That is, ye nymphs of the river-fountains. 

356 THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

swelling current, and with backward heave so gently flowed, 
that, like a placid pool or peaceful lake, he smoothed the 
surface of his flood, that nothing might impede the oars. 
Therefore, with a hearty cheer, they speed upon their 
voyage. The well-pitched galleys glide quickly on the 
stream : the waves in wonder see the heroes' shields 
glittering from far, and painted keels floating upon the 
water ; the groves, unused to such a sight, are in amaze. 
In rowing they exhaust both night and day, and overcome 
the tedious windings, and sail beneath the shade of trees^ 
of changing hue, and upon the placid stream they pass 
through verdant woods. The scorching sun had scaled the 
heights of heaven when they espy the walls and citadel 
hard by, and roofs of houses here and there ; places which 
now Rome's power has raised to heaven. Evander at that 
time ruled the humble state. Quickly they turn the prows 
to shore and approach the town. 

That day the Arcadian king chanced to be holding 
solemn festival before the city in a grove to the great 
Hercules and to the gods. Then too did his son 
Pallas, and with him all the chief young men and the 
humble ^ senate offer incense, and the tepid blood smoked 
at the altars. When they espied the lofty ships, and 
saw that they were moving onward through the shady 
groves, and that the crews in silence were bending to 
their oars, they are startled at the sudden sight, and leaving 
the feasts, all rise at once. But Pallas, dauntless, forbids 
them to delay the sacred rites, and seizing his lance, in 
person flies to meet them, and speaks at a distance from a 
rising ground : Warriors, what cause has led you to 
attempt an unknown way ? whither are ye bound ? says he : 
who are you by descent ? whence came you ? bring you 

1 Which overhung the banks on both sides. 

^ This phrase elegantly expresses the humble resources of the times. 

87-145] THE AENEID. 357 

peace or war ? Then from the lofty deck thus speaks 
/Eneas, and in his hand holds forth a branch of peaceful 
olive : The sons of Troy you see, and arms hostile to the 
Latins, whom they have driven forth by outrage and by 
war. We seek Evander. Bear this message, and say that 
certain Trojan chiefs have come asking a friendly league. 
At mention of a name so great Pallas was stunned. Come 
ashore, says he, whoe'er you are, and see my father face 
to face, and be our guest. Then he welcomed him, and 
grasping his right hand, held it fast. Advancing they enter 
the grove, and leave the river. Then ^neas addresses the 
king in words of friendship : Worthiest of the sons of 
Greece, to whom fortune has willed that I should make 
appeal, and extend these suppliant boughs. Indeed I 
feared not, because you were a Grecian leader and an 
Arcadian, and because you were by race allied to Atreus' 
sons ; but my motive pure and the holy oracles of the 
gods, and the affinity of our ancestors, and your own 
repute well known o'er all the land, have bound you to 
me as a friend, and urged me here by fate with right 
good will. Dardanus, the first father and founder of the 
city Ilium, ^ born of Electra, the daughter of Atlas, as the 
Greeks record, comes to the Trojans : the mighty Atlas, 
who on his shoulder bears the heavenly bodies, begot 
Electra. Your father is Mercury, whom beauteous INIaia 
bore on cold Cyllcnc's heights. But Atlas is the father 
of Maia, if to tradition we may credit give ; that same 
Atlas who supports the stars of heaven. Thus from one 
stock our stems divide. Relying on this, neither to em- 
bassies have I had recourse, nor do I artfully make 
overtures of peace : me and my life I have exposed, 
and am come a suppliant to your threshold. The same 

^ Ilium, the citadel of Troy, generally taken for the city itself, so 
named from Ilus, one of the Trojan kings. 

358 • THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

Daunian nation ^ which pursues you in cruel war attacks 
us also : if they once defeat us, nothing, they presume, 
will hinder them from entirely forcing all Hesperia under 
yoke, and from commanding both the upper and the lower 
sea.2 Take and give pledges of faith. With us are hearts 
valiant in war, with us are high resolves, and warriors well 
tried in deeds of daring. 

^neas ceased to speak. Evander during all the while 
observed with care the speaker's face, and his eyes and 
body. Then thus he briefly replies : Bravest of the Trojans, 
how gladly do I receive and hail you ! how well I re- 
collect the words, the voice, and features of the great 
Anchises ! For I remember that Priam, Laomedon's son, in 
his way to Salamis^ to visit the realms of his sister Hesione, 
came on to see Arcadia's chilly realms. At that time early 
youth was covering my cheek with down : I admired the 
Trojan chiefs; and Laomedon's son I specially admired, 
but Anchises as he walked was taller than them all : my soul 
burned with youthful desire to accost the hero, and to clasp 
his hand. I went forward, and with keen delight I led him 
to the walls of Pheneus.'* At his departure he gave me 
an ornamented quiver and Lycian arrows, a mantle inter- 
woven with gold, and two bridles with golden bosses, which 
my son Pallas now has. Therefore in league with you I 
join my hand as you desire, and as soon as the morrow's 
light to earth returns I will dismiss you, gladdened by my 

^ Daunian nation : Daunus, a son of Pilumnus and Danae, and father 
of Turnus, came from Illyricum into Apulia, where he reigned over part 
of the country, from him called Daunia. 

2 i.e., the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas. 

2 Salamis (Colouri), an island of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, near 
the coast of Attica. Hesione, a daughter of Laomedon, king of Troy, 
and sister to Priam. Hercules, having delivered her from a sea-monster 
to which she was exposed, gave her in marriage to Tclamon, king of 

■* Pheneus (Phonia), a town of Arcadia, near jNIount Cyllene. 

146-201] THE AENEID. 359 

assistance, and will l^ielp you with my means. But now, 
since friends you come, witli right good will observe with 
us this annual feast, which must not be deferred, and now 
at banquets of your allies feel at home. 

Thus having spoken, he orders the dishes and cups 
which had been removed to be replaced, and himself 
directs the heroes to the grassy banks ; and as a special 
mark of favour, he receives ^neas on a couch and shaggy 
lion's skin, and seats him on a maple throne. Then with 
earnest zeal selected youths and the altar-priest the roasted 
joints of bullocks bring, heap loaves of bread in baskets, 
and serve the wine, ^neas and the Trojan youth feast 
on the sacred entrails and a bullock's chine. 

As soon as hunger was removed and appetite allayed, 
Evander says : No empty superstition or ignorance of 
ancient gods has imposed on us these solemn rites, this 
customary banquet, this altar of so great a deity : from 
cruel dangers saved, my Trojan guest, these rites we offer, 
and from year to year renew these honours justly due. 
Now, first observe this crag with overhanging rocks ; how 
the huge masses are scattered far abroad, and the mountain- 
ous abode stands desolate, and the cliffs have fallen with 
dreadful crash. Here, far removed from sight, in a vast re- 
cess, there was a cave, which the hideous figure of the half- 
man Cacus^ occupied, to sunbeams inaccessible; and ever 
with recent blood the pavement smoked ; and on the cruel 
entrance hung the heads of men, all ghastly with the 
piteous gore. Vulcan was this monster's father : belching 
from his mouth his sooty flames, his giant bulk he proudly 
carried. In answer to our earnest prayers the arrival of 
a god at length brought aid. For Hercules, the great 
avenger, came, uplifted by the death and spoils of triple 

' Cacus, tlie son of Vulcan and Medusa, a notorious icbber, slain by 

360 THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

Geryon, and victorious, drives his bulls, and his cattle 
filled the river's vale. But Cacus, whose mind was 
maddened by the Furies — to leave no act of villany or of 
deceit undared — from their pasture steals four bulls for 
size and beauty famed, and cows as many of excelling 
make. By the tail he dragged them to the cave that not 
a mark of foot might point the way in front, and hurried 
them into the covert of the hollow rock with tracks 
reversed. Though he searched with care, no oxen^ led 
him to the cave. Meanwhile, when Amphitryon's son 
from the pasture moved his well-fed herds, and made to 
go elsewhere, the cows at their departure lowed, and by 
their plaintive cries the wood was filled, and they left the 
hill still lowing. From the spacious cave one answered by 
a roar, and, though guarded, cheated Cacus' hopes. On 
this Alcides's wrath with fiercer passion burned. He 
takes his weapon, and his club heavy with knots, and 
at running speed makes for the summit of the mountain. 
Then first our shepherds saw Cacus in dismay, and by 
his eyes betraying dread : at once he flies swifter than the 
east wind, and seeks the cave : to his feet fear added 
wings. No sooner in than he undid the chains and let 
down the enormous rock, which father Vulcan by iron had 
artfully suspended, and had made fast the door-posts by 
a strengthening bolt. But lo ! the Tirynthian hero, furious 
with rage, was upon him, and, examining every approach, 
turned his eyes now here now there, gnashing with his teeth. 
Boiling with indignation, he thrice surveys the whole of 
Aventine ; thrice in vain essays the gates of rock ; thrice 
in the vale, wearied, he sat him down to rest. There stood 
a sharp flint cliff, which rose from the cave's roof, with 
sheer cut sides all round ; it towered high, and was a fitting 
home for nests of birds of evil omen. As it leant down- 

^ Because the foot-prints pointed the wrong way. 


2-266] THE AENEID. 361 

ward to the river on the left, Alcides wrenched it with 
might and main in the opposite direction, to the right, 
and from its base he tore it clean away, and hurled it 
forward : with this impulse aether thunders to its utmost 
bounds, the banks in terror leap asunder, and the surges of 
the affrighted stream rush backward. And now the palace- 
den of tyrant Cacus was opened full to view, and those 
darksome caverns were to their very depths exposed ; just 
as if, by some mighty shock, the earth, yawning to her centre, 
should disclose the nether world and dismal realms by gods 
detested, and from above were seen a vast abyss, and ghosts 
should huddle in dismay at influx of the light. Him there- 
fore, taken by surprise in the unlooked-for light, and close 
imprisoned in the hollow rock, and bellowing with unearthly 
roars, Alcides plies with weapons on the higher ground, and 
calls to his aid missiles of every kind, even trunks of trees and 
massive millstones. But he — for now there's no escape from 
danger — disgorges from his jaws great clouds of smoke, 'tis 
wondrous to relate, and wraps his den in pitchy night, 
through which no eye can see, and from beneath the cave 
sends up a steaming darkness, with fire and gloom com- 
bined. Alcides, in his wrath, lost patience, and with a 
bound leaped headlong through the flames, where the 
thickest smoke wreathes upward, and the vast cave surges 
with a murky cloud. And thus he grasps, as with a knot, 
the monster Cacus, disgorging fire in vain, and clinging, 
throttling, squeezes out his starting eyes, and chokes his 
bloodless throat. Immediately the doors are burst and 
the dungeon opened up, and the stolen cattle are shown 
to light of day, and his many robberies,^ oft disclaimed ; 
and the shapeless carcase is dragged forth to view. Men 
cannot gaze enough on those dread eyes, on that hideous 

' i.e., those robberies which he had coniiiiiucd before tlie arrival of 
Hercules, and which he had denied on oath. 

362 THE AENEID, [Book v 


face, on the breast of half-wild beast, shaggy with bristles, 
and those fires now in his awful jaws extinct. From 
that time forth this festival is yearly held, and posterity 
with joy the day still keeps: and especially Potitius,^ 
the first founder, and the Pinarian family, the guardian 
of this sacred rite of Hercules, erected this altar in the 
grove, which shall ahvays be styled by us the Great, 
and shall be the Great for ever. Wherefore come, 
Sirs : in doing honour to such services, wreathe your 
locks with leaves, and hold forth your cups, and invoke 
our common god, and with ready will supply the wine. 
He said ; then with its Herculean shade the poplar of 
double hue both decked his locks, and with its leaves 
festooned hung down, and a sacred goblet filled his hand. 
Quickly all with joy pour out libations, and supplicate 
the gods. 

Meanwhile, with heaven's decline the evening draws near ; 
and now the priests, with Potitius at their head, marched in 
procession, clad in skins, as was their wont, and carried 
torches. They renew the feast, and present the dainties of 
the second service,^ and heap the hearths with loaded 
dishes. Then round the smoking altars the Salian ^ min- 
strels advance, their temples bound with poplar boughs ; 
one choir of youths, another of old men ; who celebrate 
the praises of Alcides, and record in verse his mighty 
deeds : how f^rst by squeeze of infant hand he crushed 
his step-dame's monster snakes ; hov/ noble cities he in war 

^ Potitius and Pinarius, Arcadians, who came with Evander to Italy, 
and wlio were entrusted with the sacrifices of Hercules. 

^ i.e., the evening repast, as shown by Weichart. The other had 
taken place at mid -day. 

^ Salii, an order of priests at Rome, who had the charge of the sacred 
shields called Ancilia, which they carried every year, on the first of 
March, in solemn procession round the walls of Rome, dancing and 
singing praises to the god Mars. 

267-312] THE AENEID. 363 

o'erthrew, Troy and CEchalia;i how under king Eurystheus- 
he underwent a thousand grievous labours by the unfair 
decrees of partial Juno. O invincible one, it is thou who 
didst by thy might subdue the cloud-born Centaurs of 
double form, Hylseus and Pholus, who didst slay the Cretan 
monster, and the huge lion in the cave of Nemea.^ For 
fear of thee the Stygian lakes did tremble; so did hell's 
watch-dog, cowering in his bloody den upon his half-gnawed 
bones : but no forms, however dreadful, caused thee fear ; 
not even Typhoeus,^ with his armour raised to strike : nor 
did the snake of Lerna, v>'ith its horrid host of hissing 
heads encircling thee, disturb thy mind's composure. Hail, 
undoubted offspring of Jove, a glory added to the gods : 
visit both us and these thy sacred rites with thy auspicious 
presence. Such deeds they celebrate in song : above all, 
they add the den of Cacus, and himself emitting flames. 
The grove rings with the din, and the hills resound. 

Then, the service finished, all to the city hie them 
back. The king, beset by marks of age, went on in 
front, and near him, as he walked, he kept yEneas and his 
son, and beguiled the way by varied conversation. 'With 
wondering delight ^neas looks, and quickly turns ^ his eyes 
o'er all the scene, is charmed with every spot, and asks and 
learns with joy the story of the men of old. 

^ CEchalia. There were several towns called CEchalia. The one 
here referred to is generally thought to have been in Thessaly. But 
the ancients themselves were not agreed on the point. 

- Eurystheus, the brother and task-master of Hercules. 

^ Nemea, a valley in Argolis in Peloponnesus, near which Hercules 
performed his first labour by killing the celebrated Nemean lion. 

■* Typhoeus, a famous giant, son of Tartarus and Terra, said to have 
had a hundred heads like those of a serpent or a dragon. He made war 
upon the gods, but Jupiter put him to flight with his thunderbolts, and 
crushed him under Mount Aitna, or, according to some, imdcr the 
island Inarime (Ischia). 

^ " Fac?7es," i.e., easily bending and turning in all directions. 

364 THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

Then king Evander, founder of the Roman strong- 
hold, spoke as follows : These groves the native Fauns and 
Nymphs possessed, and a race of men sprung from the 
trunks of trees and stubborn oak ; who walked by no set 
rules of life, nor had they hfe's enjoyments, nor did they 
think to yoke the steers, or wealth amass, or spare their 
sains, but fed on branches and on the hunter's hard and 
scanty fare. From heights of heaven first Saturn came, an 
exile of his realms bereft, Jove's violence to shun. The 
race untaught and scattered on the mountain sides he 
brought together, and gave them laws, and chose the name 
of Latium because within its bounds he had lived latent 
and secure. Under his reign the so-called golden age 
existed, in peace so perfect did he rule his realm ; till 
by degrees an era more depraved and of dimmer colour 
came, and rage for war, and greed for wealth. Next 
came the Ausonian bands and the Sicilian nations, and 
more than once the land of Saturn changed its name. 
Then were there various kings, and fierce Thybris of gigantic 
make, from whom Italians in after times have named the 
river Thybris ; ancient Albula lost its real name. Me 
driven from my country, and tracking the remotest seas, 
almighty fortune and overmastering Fate in these lands 
have placed; and the urgent orders of my mother, the 
nymph Carmentis,^ and Apollo's divine commands drove 
me to settle here. 

So he spoke : then, going on, he shows him both the 
altar and the Carmental gate, as by the ancient name the 
Romans call it, in honour of the nymph Carmentis, the 
prophetess who was first to tell the future grandeur of the 
^nean race, and the after fame of Pallanteum. Next he 
points out the spacious grove which Romulus a refuge made, 

• Carmentis, a prophetess of Arcadia, rriother of Evander, with whom 
she came to Italy. 

313-369] THE AENEID. 365 

and in a cold cave the LupercaV called after the Arcadian 
manner the grotto of Lycsean Pan. He likewise shows the 
sacred grove of Argiletum,^ and identifies the spot as 
that on which Argus his guest v/as slain. He leads him 
next to the Tarpeian Rock and to the Capitol, now gilded, 
once covered with rough thickets. Even then its dreaded 
sanctity the timid rustics awed ; even then they trembled at 
the wood and rocks. This grove, says he, this wood-topped 
hill, a god inhabits, what god we know not : the Arcadians 
believe they have often seen great Jove himself, when with 
his strong right hand he shook the segis black and grim, 
and raised his thunder-clouds. Farther, says he, two towns 
you see with walls demolished, memorials left by men of 
old : this stronghold father Janus, that Saturnus built ; 
Janiculum^ the one, Saturnia the other. With converse 
such as this they neared the humble palace of Evander, and 
here and there saw herds then lowing in the Roman forum 
and the elegant Carinas. When to his home they came : This 
door, says he, Alcides in his triumph "^ entered: him this 
house received : Venture then, my guest, all splendour to 
hold light, and show yourself, as he did, worthy of divinit)', 
and come, disdaining not our humble state. So spake he : 
and underneath his lowly roof he led the great ^neas, and 
placed him on a couch of leaves, o'erspread by skin of 
Libyan bear. 

Night hurries down, and with her dusky wings enfolds the 

^ Lupercal, a place at the foot of Mount Aventine, sacred to Pan, 
whose festivals, called Lupercalia, were celebrated annually. 

^ Argiletum, a place at Rome near the Palatium, where tradesmen 
had their shojjs. 

^ Janiculum, one of the seven hills of Rome, on which Janus built a 
town of the same name. Saturnia, an ancient town of Italy, supposed 
to have been built by Saturn on the Tarpeian Rock. 

* From this circumstance Hercules probably derived his surname of 
"Victor," having been received into ^' parva regia, sed sianiiia re- 

l66 THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

earth. But Venus, in her mind alarmed, — and not for 
nought, — moved by threats of the Laurentines, and the 
rising of that hardy race, addresses Vulcan,^ and in the 
golden chamber of her husband begins the subject, and 
to her words imparts a love divine. Whilst the Grecian 
kings in war were wasting Troy, doomed to destruction, 
and her bulwarks soon to fall by their hostile fires, for the 
wretched Trojans I asked no help, no arms forged by 
your skill and means ; nor, O dearest husband, did I beg 
your toil in vain, though much I owed to Priam's sons, and 
often wailed the hardships of ^Eneas. Now, by Jove's 
commands, in the Rutulian realms he settles down ; so I, 
your same fond wife, come as a suppliant, and ask your 
deity revered for arms — a mother for her son. You the 
daughter of Nereus, you the wife of Tithonus, could by 
tears persuade. See what nations combine, what towns 
with gates close shut the sword are whetting against me 
and mine. She ceased to speak ; and as he lingers to 
reply, the goddess fondly clasps him in her warm 
embrace. At once he felt the wonted fire, and the well- 
known passion thrilled through his melting frame, just as 
at times a fiery chink bursting in the sky with flashing 
thunderbolt shoots with its glittering light athwart the 
clouds. His wife perceived it, pleased with her wiles 
and conscious of her charms. Then Vulcan, thralled by 
never-dying love, thus speaks : Why seek you far-fetched 
reasons? Where has fled your trust in me, O goddess? 

^ Vulcan, the son of Jupiter and Juno, and the husband of Venus, 
was the god of fire, and the patron of all artists who worked in iron 
and metals. He is said to have been cast down from heaven, and by 
his fall in the island of Lemnos to have broken his leg, and ever after 
to have remained lame of one foot. The Cyclopes in Sicily were his 
workmen, and with him they fabricated in his forges, which were sup- 
posed to be under Mount zEtna, not only the thunderbolts of Jupiter, 
but also arms for the gods and the most celebrated heroes. 

370-427] THE AENEID. 367 

Had you felt the same desire, then too I might have 
armed the Trojans : neither Ahiiighty Jove nor the Fates 
forbade that Troy and Priam should survive for ten years 
more. And now, if you prepare for war, and this is your 
resolve, whatever in my craft I can effect by care and skill, 
whatever can be made from steel or amber metal,i as much 
as fire and bellows can, I promise : cease by entreaties 
your powers to distrust. Having spoken thus he gave the 
wished embrace, and on the bosom of his spouse sought 
deep and peaceful sleep. 

Then when in mid-career of night, now largely spent, first 
sleep had from his eyes chased drowsy slumber, when she 
who is forced to make her living by the distaff and the 
the ill-paid loom ^ first stirs the embers and the slumbering 
fire, adding to her labour-time the hours of night, and by 
torchlight works her maidens at their tedious task, that she 
may keep pure her husband's home and worthily bring up 
her little ones, just so and with no less zeal at that time 
does the Fire -god rise from off his downy bed and take his 
workman's tools. Near the Sicilian coast and ^-Eolian 
Lipari ^ there rises from the sea an island with high and ever- 
smoking rocks, and under it a chasm, and caves like /Etna's 
hollowed by the forges of the Cyclops' thunder; and sturdy 
strokes resound from the anvils with their echoing groans, 
and the bars of iron hiss in the caverns, and the fire pants 
in the furnaces : 'tis Vulcan's home, and the land is called 
Vulcania. To it at that time the Fire-god comes from lofty 
heaven. In their ample caves the Cyclopes were working 
iron, Brontes and Steropes, and Pyracmon with naked body. 
In their hands they had a thunderbolt, but rudely shapen, 
but partly polished, one of the many which Jupiter hurls on the 

' A mixture of j^okl and silver, of a pale amber colour. 
- "The loom yielding but a scanty reward." 

^ Lipari, anciently the ^Eolian Islands, on the northern coast of Sicily; 
they are of volcanic origin. 

368 THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

earth from every part of heaven : some remained unfinished. 
Three rays there were of hail, three of the watery clouds, 
three of the ruddy blaze, and three of winged wind. Now 
in blended form they added to the work the awful 
lightning, roaring noise, and dread and wrath of Jove 
with persecuting flames. In another place they hurried 
on for Mars a chariot and its rapid wheels with which 
he maddens men to war, whereby he maddens towns ; and 
with eager rivalry they were polishing the horror-striking 
cegis, the weapon of enraged Minerva, with serpent's scales 
in gold, and clustered snakes, and the Gorgon too, rolling 
its eyes within the severed heads. Away with these, says 
he, and lay aside the work begun, ^tnean Cyclopes, and 
pay good heed to this : Armour is to be made for a 
valiant hero. Now strength you need, now rapid hands, 
now all your master skill. Begone at once delay. Nor 
said he more : all quickly set to work, and among them 
shared the task in equal parts. Brass flows in streams and 
gold as well, and wound-inflicting steel is melted in the 
capacious furnace. They shape in outline an enormous 
shield, enough itself to meet the darts of all the Latins, 
and seven plates together bind, orb upon orb. In the 
windy bellows some receive the air and give it forth again, 
while others dip the hissing metal in the trough. The cave 
groans under the mounted anvils. With alternate stroke 
they vigorously raise their arms in concert, and with the 
griping pincers turn the iron. 

While in ^olian realms the god of Lemnos ^ hastens on 
the work, the cheering light and morning songs of birds 
beside his roof call forth Evander from his humble hut. 
The old man rises, and in his tunic girds himself, and on 
his feet he binds his Tuscan sandals : then to his side he 

^ Vulcan, the Hephsestus of the Greeks, is represented by Homer as 
falling on Lemnos when thrown from Olympus by Jupiter. 

42S-495] THE AENEID. 369 

hangs his Tegean sword, strapped from his shoulders, and 
from his left lets droop a panther's skin, thrown loosely on. 
Moreover, two dogs, his guardians, go before him from the 
lofty threshold, and attend their master's steps. yEneas' 
rooms he sought, mindful of their converse and his 
promised boon, good, noble man. And no less early 
was his guest astir. Pallas attends the one. Achates the 
other. Meeting, they join hands, and in the middle of 
the court sit down, and at length indulge in conversation 
unrestrained. The king first speaks : O leader of the 
Trojans, greatest surely, for whilst you live I never will 
admit that Ilium's state and power have been undone, 
to aid in such a war our strength is small for fame 
so great. On one side we are hemmed by Tuscan 
Tiber, on the other the Rutulian presses, and thunders 
round our walls in war's array. I mean to league 
with you great nations, and warlike powers with rich 
domains — a safeguard which unlooked-for chance presents. 
'Tis at the call of Fate you come. Not far hence is built 
the city of Agylla, founded of old upon its rocky site, where 
once a Lydian tribe, renowned in war, settled on Etruscan 
heights. This flourishing for many years, Mezentius there- 
after held with tyrant sway and merciless soldiers. Why 
name his brutal massacres ? why the despot's savage deeds ? 
May the gods reserve them for himself and his pos- 
terity ! Why, he was even wont to chain the living to the 
dead, placing hand on hand and face on face, direful torture ! 
and thus by lingering deaths he slew his victims, dripping 
with gore and putrefaction in that loathed embrace. But 
the citizens, at last worn out, besiege his palace, and attack 
himself, cruel beyond description ; they slay his followers, 
and to his roof trees toss the fire. Amidst the slaughter he 
escaped and fled for refuge to the Rutuli, and was protected 
by the arms of Turnus, his host. Thus all Etruria arose 
in frenzy just : by instant war the king for punishment 

2 A 

370 THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

they ask. O ^neas, to these thousands I will add you as 
their leader. For ships, crowding all the shore, clamour for 
action, and are eager to advance : an aged augur holds 
them back, the fates revealing : O ye, Mgeonia's choicest 
sons, an ancient people's flower and pith, whom righteous 
indignation urges on the foe, and whom Mezentius fires with 
well-deserved rage, no leader of Italian blood may such a 
race subdue : wait for and choose a foreign leader. Then 
the Etruscan army encamp on the plain hard by, alarmed 
by warnings of the gods. Tarchon ^ himself has sent to 
me ambassadors, wnth the kingdom's crown and sceptre, 
and to me entrusts these royal badges, begging me to join 
the camp and take the throne of Tuscany. But my age, 
made slow and powerless by the frosts of time, grudge me a 
sovereign's place, and my powers are past the day for deeds 
of valour. My son I would urge to take it, were it not that, 
being of mixed race through a Sabine mother, he derived a 
portion of his country from this land. Do you, most gallant 
leader of the Trojans and Italians, to whose years and line- 
age fate is kind, you whom the oracles require, enter upon 
your destiny. Him, too, my hope and solace, Pallas, 
with you I will conjoin : under you as his master let him 
practise warfare and the laborious service of Mars, be 
spectator of your deeds, and from his earliest years make 
you his model. To him I will give two hundred Arcadian 
horsemen, the pick of the youth ; and as many more will 
Pallas add on his own account. 

Thus he spoke. Then ^Eneas and trusty Achates with 
steadfast gaze looked on the ground, and with sorrowing 
heart were continuing to ponder their many hardships, had 
not Venus given them an omen in the cloudless sky. For 
unexpectedly a flash of lightning, darted from the blue. 

^ Tarchon, an Etrurian chief, who assisted ^neas against the Rutu- 

496-552] THE AENEID. 3/1 

came with a crash ; and suddenly all nature seemed to 
fall in ruins, and the blast of the Tuscan trumpet rang 
through the skies. They gaze to heaven : again and then 
again it thunders with terrific peals. In a calm region of 
the sky, in a vapoury haze, they see arms gleaming in 
the azure air, and hear them dashed together, ringing 
loud. The others, spell-bound, stood aghast. But the 
Trojan hero knew the sound and promised tokens of 
his goddess-mother. Then he says : Ask not, in sooth, 
kind host, what chance these signs portend. It is I 
that by heaven am called. My goddess-mother told me 
she would send this sign if war should fiercely threaten, 
and through the air would bring me armour by Vulcan 
forged. Ah ! what havoc awaits the hapless Laurentines ! 
what ample satisfaction shall you, O Turnus, give me ! 
what numerous shields, and helmets, and bodies of 
gallant heroes shall you, father Tiber, roll down beneath 
your waves ! Now let them call to arms and break their 

This said, he rises from his lofty seat : and first with 
fire from Alcides' altar lights the slumbering embers, and 
in worship the Lares ^ and Penates of yester eve he greets. 
At the same time Evander and the sons of Troy offer in 
sacrifice choice ewes with all due rites. Then to the ships 
he goes, and his men revisits, from whom he chooses 
such as excelled in valour to attend him to the war; the 
rest by the descending stream are onward borne, and with- 
out exertion float down the current to bring Ascanius 
tidings of his father and how their matters stand. To the 
Trojans, who to the Tuscan lands repair, chargers are 
given : for ^ncas they bring one chosen with special care. 

^ The Lares were two in number, sons of Mercury and Lara, one of 
the Naiads. The Romans paid them divine honours. They presided 
over houses and families. 

372 THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

which a Uon's tawny hide, decked in front with gilded 
claws, covers all over. 

Rumour, suddenly spreading, flies through the little city, 
that a band of horse are off in haste to the palace of the 
Tuscan king. The matrons in alarm their vows redouble, 
and fear now treads more closely on the heels of danger, 
and the war-god's spectre more gigantic seems. Evander, 
clasping the hand of his departing son, holds it fast, and 
cannot satisfy his tears, and speaks as follows : Oh that 
Jupiter would recall my years now gone ! Oh ! to be as 
once I was when, 'neath Praeneste's very walls, the foremost 
ranks I mowed, and, victorious, burned their shields in 
heaps, and with this hand to Tartarus despatched king 
Erulus;'^ to whom at birth, dreadful to relate, his mother 
Feronia had given three lives, three suits of arms to wield ; 
three times in death he needs must be laid low ; yet him this 
right hand soon bereft of all his lives, and spoiled him of as 
many suits of arms. Were I such, my son, nowhere should 
I be torn from your dear embrace ; nor ever would Mezen- 
tius by the sword have caused so many deaths, trampling 
upon my honour, nor of so many citizens have robbed the 
town. But, O ye powers, and thou Jupiter, great ruler 
of the gods, compassionate, I pray, the Arcadian king, and 
hear a father's prayers. If your power divine, and if the Fates 
Pallas reserve for me in safety, if I live to see and meet 
him once again, I pray for life ; I am content to suffer any 
hardship, whatsoe'er it be. But if, O fortune, you intend 
some dread disaster, now, oh ! now, let me break off my 
wretched life, while cares are doubtful, while for the future 
hopes are yet unblasted ; while you, dear son, my late, my 
only joy, I hold in my embrace ; and lest more mournful 
tidings wound my ears. Such words of last farewell the 

^ Erulus, king of Prseneste, was son of Feronia, the goddess of woods 
and orchards. 

553-607] THE AENEID. IJl 

fond old father spoke : his attendants bear him to the 
palace in a faint. 

And now from opened gates the horse went forth ; 
among the foremost ^neas and the faithful Achates, then 
other peers of Troy. Pallas himself, in the centre of his 
troop, appears conspicuous in his cloak and ornamented 
arms; such as when, bathed in ocean's waves, Lucifer, 
of all the stars to Venus dearest, has flashed his light from 
heaven and dispelled the gloom. On the walls the matrons 
stand in dread, and follow with their eyes the cloud of 
dust, and troops gleaming with brazen sheen. Through 
the thickets, where nearest lies their way, they march in 
arms. A shout is raised ; and having formed in line, they 
shake the dusty plain with prancing of their steeds.^ 

Near Caere's^ cooling stream there is a spacious grove, 
held sacred far and wide by the reverence of antiquity : 
inclosing hills on all sides hemmed in the wood of gloomy 
pine. Tradition says that to Sylvanus, god of fields and 
flocks, the old Pelasgi,^ who in early days possessed the 
Latin realms, this grove devoted and in it held a yearly 
feast. Nor far from this Tarcho and the Tuscans kept their 
camp, well guarded by the ground ; and now from the hill 
their whole array could be surveyed, as it stretched away far 
o'er the spacious plains. To these father ^neas and his 
chosen band of warriors advance, and refresh their wearied 
horses and themselves. 

^ Note this beautiful line : the Latin is — 
Qiiadrupe — dantc pii — tixni soni — tu qnatit — ungitla — canipum. 

Translate freely — 
(The) — hoof of the — quadruped — shaketh the — mouldering— plain in its 

If the lines are read as divided, they at once suggest the leisurely canter 
of a horse in the distance. 

* Ca;re, anciently Agylla, a city of Etruria, once the capital of the 
whole country, situated on a small river north-cast of Rome. 

■* Pelasgi, the earliest inhabitants of Greece. 

374 THE AENEID. [Book vni. 

Meanwhile the goddess Venus, in beauty bright even 
among the ethereal clouds, drew nigh, bearing the gifts ; 
and when at distance she espied her son in a retired 
valley, apart by the cooling river, she suddenly appeared 
before him, and addressed him in these words : Behold, my 
son, the presents finished by my consort's promised skill ; 
so that you may not fear to challenge to the fight the proud 
Laurentines or fierce Turnus' self. Cytherea spoke, and 
then embraced her son : under an oak, full in his view, she 
placed the radiant arms. He, overjoyed by the gifts of 
the goddess, and by arms so beautiful, cannot gaze enough, 
and turns his eyes to every point : he admires them, and 
between his hands and arms turns and turns again the 
helmet with its awful crest and floods of fiery light, and the 
death-dealing sword, and the mail of rigid bronze, ruddy in 
colour and immense in size, as when a dark cloud is lit 
up by sunbeams and reflects its light afar : and then the 
greaves of bright electrum and of gold oft in the fire tried, 
the spear too, and the shield's design, baffling description. 
On it the fire-god had depicted stories both of Roman life 
and Roman wars, not unaware of seers' Avords, or ignorant 
of times to come ; on it was all the line drawn from 
Ascanius, and wars in order w^aged. There, too, he had 
depicted the fostering wolf stretched in the verdant cave 
of Mars, the twin boys hanging on her teats in playful 
glee, and without fear sucking their dam; and her, with 
curving neck, caressing both by turns, and licking into 
shape. Not far from this he had added Rome and Sabine 
women carried off 'gainst decency and law from centre of 
the circus at the great Circensian ^ games, and suddenly a 
new war bursting upon the sons of Rome, and upon aged 

* Circensian games were first established by Romulus, and performed 
in the circus at Rome. The Romans having invited their neighbours 
the Sabines to the celebration of these games, forcibly carried away all 

the females who had attended. 

608-654] THE AENEID. 375 

Tatius,! and Cures, austere in virtue. Next, tlie same princes, 
their quarrels laid aside, were standing at Jove's altar, clad 
in armour, with goblet in hand, and having sacrificed a 
sow, were striking a league. Close by, rapid chariots had 
torn Mettus ^ limb from limb, — but, O Alban, you should 
have kept your word, — and Tullus was dragging the traitor's 
body through the wood, and the bushes were dripping with 
his blood. Here, too, Porsenna^ was commanding the 
Romans to receive the exiled Tarquins, and was investing 
the city with closest siege. The Romans, in defence of 
liberty, were rushing on the sword. Him you might have 
seen like one enraged, and breathing threats, because 
Codes dared to break the bridge, and Cloelia,'* having 
burst her chains, was swimming over Tiber. Manlius,^ 
guardian of the Tarpeian rock, was standing on the height 
before the temple, and was defending the lofty Capitol ; 
and the fresh-trimmed hut of Romulus seemed rough 

1 Tatius, king of Cures among the Sabines, made war against the 
Romans after the rape of the Sabine women. Peace having been 
made between the two nations, Tatius shared the royal authority witli 

- Mettus, dictator of Alba in the reign of Tullus Hostilius. He 
became subject to the Romans by the combat of the Horatii and 
Curiatii, but as he afterwards proved faithless, Tullus put him to death 
by placing him between two four-horse chariots, which were driven in 
opposite directions. 

^ Porsenna, king of Etruria, who made war upon the Romans in 
favour of Tarquin, and attempted in vain to replace him on the throne. 
Codes (Horatius), a noble Roman, who greatly signalised himself by 
alone opposing, on the bridge, the whole army of Porsenna. 

* Clcelia, a Roman virgin, who having been given with other maidens 
as hostages to Porsenna, escaped from confinement, and swam across 
the Tiber to Rome. 

® Manlius (Marcus), a celebrated Roman, surnamcd Capitolinus, for 
his gallant defence of the Capitol against the Gauls under IJrennus. 
Manlius was afterwards accused of ambitious designs, and having been 
condemned to death was thrown from the Tarpeian rock. 

376 THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

with recent thatch. Here a goose in silver, fluttering 
in the gilded porticos, loudly proclaimed that Gauls are 
close at hand : the Gauls were there among the brushwood, 
and were gaining the citadel, shielded by the darkness 
and the favour of the covering gloom ; their hair was of a 
golden hue, and golden was their dress ; they are con- 
spicuous in their cloaks with gaudy stripes ; a golden chain 
surrounds their milk-white necks ; each in his hand 
displays two Alpine spears, and with an oblong shield 
defends his body. Here in relief he showed the dancing 
Salii, and the naked priests of Pan, and caps with woollen 
tufts, and tiny shields that fell from heaven : chaste matrons 
in their cushioned cars were moving through the city in 
sacred procession. Hard by he adds the realms of Tar- 
tarus, and hell's deep jaws, and penalties of guilt, and 
you O Catiline ^ on verge of frowning cliff, quaking at 
sight of hellish fiends : and the righteous in a spot apart, 
and Cato ^ acting as their judge. Midst these the wavy 
main was seen to roll in wide extent, gold in material, but 
the billows broke in hoary foam ; and all around bright 
silver dolphins lashed the waters with their tails, and 
scudded through the tide. In the middle you could dis- 
tinguish fleets with brazen prows, the fight of Actium; ^ 
and you could see all Leucate's bay alive with martial 
preparation, and the billows glittering with gold. On 
one side Caesar Augustus, standing on the lofty stern, 
accompanied by the Senate and the people, the Penates 
and the great deities, leads the Italians to battle, whose 
bright and beauteous temples give forth a double flame, 
and on his head the Julian star is full displayed. In 

' Catiline, a noble Roman, of the most depraved habits. He conspired 
against the liberties of his country, and perished in battle B.C. 6^. 
" Cato the elder is meant. 
^ Actium, the scene of the final victory of Augustus. 

655-702] THE AENEID. 377 

another part Agrippa^ on his high look-out,^ with favour- 
ing winds and kindly gods, leads on his squadron, whose 
temples, decked with naval crown of gilded beak, proud 
meed of battle, glitter in the sun. On the other side, 
Antonius,^ with barbaric help and crowds of motley troops, 
fresh from his conquest of the Orient nations and from the 
Indian Sea, brings with him Egypt and the forces of the 
East, and the remotest Bactra, and, oh foul shame ! a Coptic 
concubine * attends him. All rush together, and the sea- 
plain, torn by sweeping oars and trident beaks, seethes 
with the foam. They make for the deep : you could fancy 
that the uprooted Cyclades are floating on the waters, or 
that lofty mountains against mountains dash, with "such 
a vengeance" do the warriors on their towered ships press on 
the fight. The hempen torches and the flying dart are flung 
by hand and engine. Neptune's plains are red Avith blood 
unknown before. In the middle of the throng of ships the 
queen rouses her squadrons with her country's sistrum, and 
sees not yet behind her the serpents twain. Her monstrous 
gods of every form, and the dog Anubis,^ 'gainst Neptune, 
Venus, Pallas, stand ready for battle. INIars moulded in 
iron seems wildly raging where the fight is fiercest ; and the 
fell furies hover in the air ; and Discord in her torn robes 

^ Agrippa, a celebrated Roman, who was admiral of Augustus' fleet 
at the battle of Actium, where he behaved with great skill and valour. 

^ " ardims " refers to his position on the stern of his ship. 

3 Mark Antony, the Roman triumvir. After his defeat in the battle 
of Actium, he fled to Alexandria in Egypt, where he stabbed himself, 
B.C. 30. 

•* Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, daughter of Ptolemy Aulctes, was cele- 
brated for her beauty and mental acquirements, as also for her intrigues 
and licentious life. Cleopatra supported the cause of her favourite An- 
tony against Augustus at the battle of Actium, but by flying with sixty 
sail, contributed to his defeat ; she then retired to Egypt, where, to avoid 
falling into the hands of Augustus, she destroyed herself by the bile of 
an asp, B.C. 30. At her death Egypt became a Roman province. 

^ Anubis, an Egyptian god, represented with the head of a dog. 

T,yS THE AENEID. [Book viii. 

stalks gleefully, whom Bellona with her bloody lash accom- 
panies. This seeing, the Actian Apollo from on high his 
bow was bending : for fear of it Egypt and the Indians, 
Arabians and Sabeeans, all turned their backs in flight. 
The queen herself seemed to be setting sail with winds 
invoked, and in eager haste to be letting out the loosened 
ropes. Her the god of fire had represented amidst the 
slaughter, driven along by waves and winds, pale with ap- 
proaching death ; and facing her the Nile, with his gigantic 
form in deep distress, opening up his folds, and, with all his 
robe outspread, inviting the vanquished to his azure bosom 
and his sheltering streams. But Caesar, entering the walls 
of Rome in threefold triumph, was consecrating throughout 
the city three hundred stately temples, his vow to the 
Italian gods, never to be forgotten. The streets rang with 
joy and games and acclamations. In all the temples are 
choirs of matrons, and altars, too, in all. Before these altars 
slaughtered bullocks strew the ground. Augustus himself, 
seated in the snow-white porch of shining Phoebus, reviews 
the offerings of the people, and fits them to the stately 
pillars. The conquered nations march in long procession, 
as various in the fashion of their garb and arms as in their 
speech. Here Mulciber had figured the Numidian race, and 
Africans of loose attire ; here the Leleges,^ the Carians, 
and the Geloni armed with arrows. Euphrates now flowed 
with gentler streams ; the Morini,^ remotest of the human 
race, were seen, and the two-horned Rhine, the untamed 
Dahae, and the Araxes,^ that disdains a bridge. 

^ Leleges, a wandering people who originally inliabited Caria, in Asia 
Minor, and who fought in the Trojan war under their king Altes. 
2 Morini, a people of Belgic Gaul, on the shores of the German Ocean, 
^ Araxes (Aras), a large river of Asia, falling into the Caspian Sea: 
it swept away a bridge which Alexander the Great built over it. This 
is what Virgil may mean by "disdains a bridge," but some refer it to 
the very rapid current of the stream. 

703-731] THE AENEID. 379 

Such scenes on Vulcan's shield, the present of his 
parent-goddess, the hero views with wonder, and, though 
ignorant of the events, in the picture he delights, and on 
his shoulder bears aloft the fame and fortune of his great 


In the Ninth Book Turnus, avaiUng himself of .^Eneas' absence, makes a 
furious assault upon his camp. The Trojans, reduced to the utmost 
extremity, despatch to JEneas Nisus and Euryalus, whose immortal 
friendship in this perilous adventure, is painted in the most glowing 
language. Turnus attacks the camp, but is forced, after making a great 
slaughter, to save himself by swimming the Tiber. 

While elsewhere matters thus proceed, Saturnian Juno 
from heaven sends Iris down to daring Turnus. Just then, 
as chanced, he sat in hallowed glen and grove of Sire 
Pilumnus : him Thaumas' daughter ^ with rosy lips addressed. 
What to your hopes no god would dare to promise, time in 
its course has brought about unasked, ^neas leaving city, 
friends, and fleet, seeks the realms and the abode of Pala- 
tine Evander. Nay, more, to remotest towns of Corythus" 
he goes, and now is arming bands of Lydian rustics. Why 
hesitate? Now is the time to call for horses, now for 
chariots. Away with all delay, and seize the camp in panic. 
She spoke, and skyward soared on balanced wings, and in 
her flight she tracked the giant bow beneath the clouds. 
The youth at once the goddess knew, and stretched to 
heaven his folded hands, and followed her with words like 
these : Iris, glory of the firmament, who sent you down to 
me on earth, from upper air? Whence comes this sudden 
brightness in the sky? I see the heavens opened, and the 

^ Thaumantias, that is, daughter of Thaumas, a son of Neptune and 
Terra, who married Electra, one of the Oceanides, by whom he had 
Iris, the Harpies, &c. 

" The mythic founder of Cortona, here put for the city itself. 

1-52] THE AENEID. 38 1 

Stars all circling round the pole. Such wondrous omens I 
obey, whoe'er you be that summon mc to arms. This said, 
to the river he advanced, and from the surface of the stream 
drew water, and in earnest prayer he loaded aether with his 

And now the host in full array was marching o'er the 
plain with steeds in plenty, and embroidered trappings 
bright with gold. The foremost lines Messapus marshals, 
the rear the sons of Tyrrhus guide : in the centre Turnus 
in armour moves about, and is " head and shoulders " over 
all the rest. [Onward they march] like the deep Ganges, 
rising noiseless in its seven peaceful streams, or as the Nile, 
with its enriching flood, when from the plains it blows, 
and now within its channel hides : On this the Trojans 
in the distance see a gathering cloud of blackish dust, and 
darkness rising on the plain. And from the rampart look- 
ing to the foe, Caicus first exclaims : What band is this, my 
fellows, that moves along in darkening gloom ? Quick, 
arm yourselves, bring weapons, man the walls. The enemy 
is upon us : haste ! With shouts and noisy cries the Trojans 
rush for shelter through the gates and line the battlements. 
For at his departure ^neas, most expert in war, had charged 
them that whate'er betide, they should not venture on an 
open fight or risk the field : their camp alone, and walls by 
help of rampart they should keep. Therefore, though 
shame and passion urge them to close in fight, they shut 
the gates, as they were ordered, and with arms in readiness 
await the enemy within their towers. 

Turnus, as hastening on in front he had outstripped the 
slowly-moving band, comes unforeseen upon the fort, 
attended by a troop of twenty chosen horse. He rides a 
Thracian steed spotted with white, and a golden helmet 
with a crimson crest protects his head. Which of you, my 
lads, will come with me and first attack the foe? Look 
here ! says he ; and with a whirl he launched his javelin into 



[Book ix. 

air, as prelude to the fight, and rushed to the field in lofty 
pride. His comrades hail him by a shout, and follow with 
terrific din. They wonder at the Trojans' timid hearts, and 
that they do not risk the open plain like men, or meet them 
face to face, but closely keep to camp. 

In fury he surveys the walls on this side and on that, and 
seeks an access where no access is, just as when a wolf 
howls at the inclosure on the hour of midnight, having 
lain in ambush for the well stocked pen, and suffers wind 
and rain ; under their dams the lambkins bleat in safety ; 
exasperate and insatiable in wrath he rages at the absent 
prey ; hunger by weary fasts increased, and bloodless jaws, 
torment him : just so the Rutulian's anger kindles as he 
regards the walls and camp, and in his hardy frame vexation 
burns to find by what means he may try to enter, and what 
device may force the Trojans from their rampart, and drive 
their masses to the plain. The fleet, which lay concealed 
beside their camp, fenced round by earthen mound and 
river's stream, he then assails, and from his joyous fellows 
calls for flames, and in his burning zeal he fills his hand 
with blazing pines. Then, indeed, they gird them to the 
work ; the face of Turnus spurs them on, and all the youths 
provide themselves with smoking torches : they light the 
hearth-fires : the smoky brand sends forth a lurid light, and 
the flames waft mingled ash and ember to the stars. 

Say, Muses, what god it was who for the Trojans stayed 
so great a fire, and saved their ships from such a blaze. 
The evidence is old, but the famous tale will last for 


When first ^neas built his fleet in Phrygian Ida and 
prepared for sea, Berecynthia^ herself, the mother of the 
gods, thus mighty Jove addressed : My son, now that 

^ Berecynthia, a name of Cybele, from Mount Berecynthus in Phrygia, 
where she was worshipped. 


] THE AENEID. 383 

you reign in heaven, to my suit give ear, and to your mother 
grant her prayer. I had a wood of pines, long years be- 
loved ; on the topmost height there was a grove to which 
men brought me offerings, gloomy by darkening fir and 
maple trunks : these to the Dardan youth I gladly gave 
when he had need of ships. Now anxious dread torments 
my troubled mind. Relieve my fears, and let a mother by 
her prayers obtain that neither seas may shatter them, nor 
whirlwind blasts subdue : let it avail them that in my 
woods they grew. In reply her son — who in their orbits 
guides the stars of heaven — thus speaks : O mother, to what 
conclusion do you call the Fates ? What ask you for your 
favourites? That ships constructed by the hand of man 
should have a right none but immortals gain ? and that 
^neas from death insured should brave uncertain risks.? 
On what one of the gods is such a power bestowed ? Verily 
when, their purpose served, they reach their goal and the 
Ausonian port, whatever shall escape the waves and carry to 
Laurentine fields the Dardan prince, I will divest of mortal 
forms and make them to become deities of ocean, like the 
Nereids, Doto and Galatea, who cut with their breasts the 
foaming deep. He ceased to speak, and nodded his 
assent ; and to seal his oath he calls the rivers of his Stygian 
brother, and those banks which boil with pitch and murky 
shoals ; and with that nod he made Olympus tremble to its 
utmost bounds. 

The promised day had come, and the Fates had closed 
the seasons due, when Turnus' outrage called on Mother 
Cybele to shield her sacred ships from firebrands. Here, 
first of all, a strange, weird light flashed on their eyes, and 
a vast and stormy cloud appeared to rush from east to west, 
and thunder-peals to roar :i then through the air a dreadful 

^ Literally, the Ida;an choir, i.e. the Corybantes, Curates, and tho 
Idcei Dactyli, who were supposed to produce the thunder-noise by 
beating their cymbals. 

384 THE AENEID. [Book ix. 

voice rings forth, and fills with dread both Trojan and 
Rutulian ears : Haste not, ye Trojans, to defend my ships, 
nor take your arms ; sooner shall Turnus burn the sea than 
those my sacred pines. Glide on at liberty, glide ever on, 
as Ocean Nymphs, — the parent of the gods commands. 
From the bank at once each ship its hawser breaks, and 
with its prow dives like a dolphin to the depths below. 
Whence, wonder strange, so many virgin forms return and 
ride the deep, as erstwhile brazen prows had lined the 

The Rutulians were panic-stricken : even Messapus was 
terrified, and his steeds as well ; and the river stops 
with murmuring roar, and Father Tiber from the sea runs 

But daring Turnus fails not in defiant trust : nay more, 
he cheers their spirits by his words, and chides them too : 
'Gainst Troy and not 'gainst them these prodigies are aimed: 
his wonted aid has Jove withdrawn : they wait not for the 
weapons and the brands of the Rutulians. The seas are 
shut against the Trojans, nor have they hope of flight ; 
one half the globe is ta'en away, but we possess the land. 
So many thousands, all Italian tribes, bear allied arms. 
The fateful oracles of gods alarm me not, whatever the 
Phrygians pretend. Venus and Fate have had their due, 
in that the sons of Troy have reached the rich Ausonian 
land. I, too, have fates assigned, to blot from earth this 
cursed race who snatched away my bride ; nor does a 
sorrow such as that touch Atreus' sons alone,^ nor to 
Mycenae is it given alone to draw the sword. But once to 
perish were enough : once to have sinned had been enough 
to make them hate for evermore the female race, — men who 
behind a rampart and a ditch — slight barrier 'gainst death — 
can get their courage up. Have they not seen the walls of 

^ Alluding to the abduction of Helen. 

113-177] THE AENEID. 385 

Troy, by Neptune built, sink in the flames? But, you my 
warriors picked and true, who will join me, sword in hand, 
to tear their rampart down, and attack their camp, now in 
dismay ? I need not Vulcan's arms, nor yet a thousand 
ships against these Trojans. Forthwith let all the Tuscans 
join them. They need not fear the night, nor silly theft of 
a Palladium, with slaughter of the city guards : nor shall 
we skulk in any horse's womb.^ By day and openly we are 
resolved to gird their walls with fire. I'll let them feel that 
they have not to do with Greeks and Argive striplings, 
whom, till the tenth year, a Hector kept at bay. Now, 
therefore, since half the day is more than passed, in what of 
it remains, since so far things are well, refresh your bodies 
in good heart, and wait an early fight. IMeanwhile to 
Messapus charge is given to beset their gates with outposts, 
and surround their wall with watch-fires. Twice seven 
picked Rutulians shall watch the walls with sentinels, and 
each of them shall have a hundred youths with purple 
crests and flashing helms. They wander to and fro and 
change their posts, and lying on the grassy sward indulge 
in wine, and drain the brazen bowls. The fires shine 
bright all round : the guards in playful sport the sleepless 
night prolong. Such things the Trojans from the ramparts 
see, while in arms they occupy the summit : moreover, in 
anxious dread they watch the gates, connect the towers 
by bridges, and missiles carry up. Mnestheus and bold 
Serestus urge them on, whom ^"neas bade command the 
troops and war conduct whenever dangers called. The 
forces guard the walls in their allotted posts, and duly take 
their turns as each has place assigned.^ 

Nisus, son of Hyrtacus, boldest of warriors, was stationed 
at a gate, whom Ida, haunt of hunters, sent to share .-Eneas' 

^ Turnus sneers at the conduct of Ulysses and Diomede. 
^ Literally, " take turns as to what is to be defended." 

2 B 

386 THE AENEID. [Book ix. 

fortunes, expert and ready with his spear and light arrows ; 
and by his side Euryalus, his friend, than whom no one of 
the ^neadae who wore the Trojan arms was handsomer, a 
stripling, marking his unshaven face with the first down of 
youth. They were one in purpose and in affection, and 
side by side they rushed to battle ; at that time also they 
kept the gate in common guard. Nisus says : Do the gods, 
Euryalus, infuse into our minds this ardour that we feel, 
or is his own intense desire a god to each ? For some 
time now my mind impels me to the fight or some great 
deed of daring, nor is it satisfied with this inactive rest. 
You see what confidence in their affairs possesses the Rutu- 
lians : a light is twinkling here and there : they lie prostrate, 
relaxed by wine and sleep : silence reigns far and wide. 
Hear farther what I ponder, and what purpose rises in my 
mind. The people and the Fathers with one accord are 
urgent that ^neas should be called, and that men be 
sent to bring him trusty tidings. If to you they promise 
what I ask — for the glory of the deed is enough for me 
— I think that I can find a way by yonder mound to the 
city of Pallanteum. Euryalus, smitten with keen thirst 
for glory, was astounded : and then at once accosts his 
ardent friend : Do you object, then, Nisus, to take me with 
you in your great exploit ? Shall I allow you all alone 
to face such risks ? No such lesson did my father Opheltes, 
inured to war, teach me as he brought me up amidst our 
terrors from the Greeks and the toilsome wars of Troy; 
nor have I acted such a part to you while following the 
great ^neas and his fortunes full of peril. Here is a 
soul that dreads not death, and one which thinks the 
glory which you seek is cheaply bought with Ijfe. Nisus 
replies : For my part I fear not such from you, nor ought I. 
No : so may great Jove, or other god who kindly looks on 
deeds like these, restore me to your arms in triumph. But 
should mishap — for many do you see in such an enter- 

17S-339] THE AENEID. 387 

prise — should mishap or any god lead to disaster, I should 
wish you to survive. Your age has better claim to life. 
Let there be one to lay me in the ground, where all 
are laid, rescued from the battle, or ransomed by a price ; 
or this should any chance forbid, to pay my absent corpse 
due rites, and grace me with a cenotaph. Nor to your 
wretched mother let me be the cause of grief so great, who 
alone of many mothers has dared to follow you, and heeded 
not the city of the great Acestes.^ But he replied : Argument 
in vain you urge, — my purpose wavers not nor yields. Make 
haste, my men, he says. He calls the sentinels. They 
come and guard relieve. Leaving the post he goes in com- 
pany with Nisus, and side by side they seek the prince. 

All other creatures on the earth in sleep let loose their 
cares, and eased their hearts, which soon forgot their woes. 
The Trojan captains, a carefully selected band, were hold- 
ing council on their highest needs — what they should do, 
and who should now be bearer to ^•Eneas of the news. 
Between the camp and plain they stand, leaning on their 
spears and bearing shields. Then Nisus, and with him 
Euryalus, at once in eager haste an audience beg, as their 
business was of moment, and would be worth delay. Them 
in eager agitation liilus welcomed, and ordered Nisus to 
speak on. Then thus the son of Hyrtacus •.'^ Friends of 
/l^neas, listen with open minds, and let not the plan pro- 
posed be judged of by our years. The Rutulians, relaxed 
by sleep and wine, are hushed in silence : we ourselves have 
marked for our design a place 'twixt the two roads that from 
the seaward gate lead forth : their fires are not continuous, 
and flameless smoke ^ rises to hca^•en. If you allow us to 

^ i.e., nor cares to tarry at Segesta with the other matrons. 

^ Hyrtacides — Nisus and Hippocobn are so styled from their father 
Hyrtacus, who was a Trojan of Mount Ida. 

^ " Flameless smoke," that is, the fires were dying out, and no clear 
blazes lit up the smoke. 

388 THE AENEID. [Book ix. 

profit by our chance to seek /Eneas and the walls of 
Pallanteum, you will see us by and bye return with plunder, 
after dealing many deaths. Nor are we ignorant of the way : 
from the shaded valleys in our hunting raids we oft have 
seen the outskirts of the town, and the whole river have 

At this Alethes, in years advanced and ripe in judgment, 
says : Gods of my country, in whose safe-keeping Troy for 
ever is, in spite of all you do not yet intend wholly to blot 
the Trojans from the earth when you have given us in 
our need young hearts so trusty and so brave. So saying, 
he pressed the shoulders and the hands of both, and with 
tears bedewed his eyes and face. What rewards, ye heroes, 
what recompense worthy of your glorious deeds can I 
deem possible to be paid you ? The noblest shall the 
gods and an approving conscience first award ; then others 
the pious ^neas will bestow without delay, and Ascanius 
in the vigour of his youth, who never will forget so great a 
service. Yes, subjoins Ascanius, I, whose sole safety is my 
Sire's return, beseech you both, and specially you Nisus, 
by the great Penates, by the home-god of our ancestors,^ 
and the shrines of hoary Vesta : in your bosom I repose all 
my fortunes and my hopes r^ recall my father, restore him 
to my sight : when he returns all will be bright. Two 
cups of solid silver, richly chased, I hereby offer, which at 
the capture of Arisba ^ my father gained, a pair of tripods 
also, two weighty golden talents, an antique goblet, the 
gift of Tyrian Dido. But if it be my lot to capture Italy 
and its sceptre gain, and on the booty make award : saw 
you on what a steed and in what arms proud Turnus rode, 

^ " Home-god," i.e. the " Lar." Assaracus, one of his ancestors, is 
put for the whole. 

^ i.e., of my father's safety. 

^ Arisba, a colony of the Mitylettasans in Troas, destroyed by the 

240-304] THE AENEID. 3 89 

all glittering with gold ? That very horse, that shield and 
crimson crest, I will exempt from chance of lot — even now 
your prize. Besides, twelve mother-slaves my sire shall 
give, the choicest of their kind, and twelve male captives, with 
all their implements, and over and above the whole extent 
of land which king Latinus reckons as his own. But you, 
dear youth, due all respect, whom in the race of life I closer 
follow, even now I welcome to my heart, and choose you 
as my trusty comrade in my every risk. No glory for my 
fortunes shall be sought apart from you : come peace or war, 
in you for action or for counsel I will most confide. And 
in reply Euryalus thus speaks : No day of life shall prove 
me unworthy of adventures bold as this, let but fortune 
be on my side, and not against me. But above all other 
boons I ask this one : I have a mother, of the ancient race 
of Priam, whom, poor woman, neither the land of Troy nor 
the city of king Acestes could keep from coming with me. 
Her now I leave, ignorant of this danger, whatever it may 
be, and without a dear good-bye, — night and your right hand 
I call to witness, — because I cannot bear a parent's tears. 
But, I beseech you, comfort her, devoid of help ; support 
her widowed age. Let me bear with me this hope from 
you : so shall I go more boldly into every risk. The Dardan 
chieftains, deeply moved, poured down tears of sympathy : 
and most of all the fair liilus, for the picture of such filial 
love came sharply home. Then thus he speaks : Rest sure 
that all will be deserving of your great attempt ; for your 
mother shall be mine, and nought but Creiisa's name shall 
fail, and no small gratitude is due to her who bore so brave 
a son. By my head I swear, by which my father swore 
before me, whatever to yourself I pledge, returned in safety 
and success, the same shall to your mother be made 
sure, and to your kindred. So speaks he, weeping at the 
thought. Then from liis shoulder he removes his gilded 
sword, which Lycaon, Cretan artist, made with wondrous 



[Book ix. 

skill, and fitted to an ivory sheath, for handy use. To 
Nisus Mnestheus gave a lion's skin and shaggy spoil : 
faithful Alethes exchanges helmets. Having armed, they 
start at once ; and as they go, the leaders, young and old, 
attend them to the gates with anxious prayers. More- 
over, the fair liilus, with a mind and thoughts mature be- 
yond his years, gave many a message for his father. But 
the winds scatter them all, and to the clouds commit them, 
null and void. 

They start, and cross the trenches, and amidst the shades 
of night make for the hostile camp ; destined, however, first 
to be ^ the death of many. Everywhere they see men 
prostrate on the grass, o'ercome with wine and sleep, 
chariots with poles erect along the shore,^ warriors midst 
harness and midst wheels, arms lying in piles, wine cups 
and casks in wild confusion. Then first the son of Hyrtacus 
thus spoke : Euryalus, a bold stroke must be made : the 
circumstances invite it. This is our way. Do you be guard 
and keep a sharp look-out around, that not a hand be 
raised against us from behind : this line I will lay waste, 
and by a roomy path will show the road. So he speaks, 
then stops : at the same time with his sword he smites the 
haughty Rhamnes ; who, as it happened, raised high on rugs 
heaped up, was breathing heavily in sleep from all his chest, 
at once a king himself, and with king Turnus an augur 
much beloved ; but by his augur's art he failed the stroke 
of death to shun. Hard by he slays three menials, at 
random laid midst weapons, the armour-bearer and the 
charioteer of Remus, having found them underneath their 

^ " Destined to be." This sense of ^'fiitm-tis " and similar participles 
is very common in Virgil. ^^ Inimica" seems to contain the notion 
that the camp would prove fatal to themselves. Of the many interpre- 
tations of a«/^, "first," the most sensible seems to be, "before they 
met their own death." 

^ The horses being unharnessed. 


305-363] THE AENEID. 39 1 

horses, and with the steel he cuts their drooping necks ; 
then from their lord himself he lops the head, and leaves the 
body gurgling forth the blood, and the reeking earth and beds 
are drenched in purple gore. Farther he slays Lamyrus, and 
Lamus, and young Serranus, who that night had played full 
many a game, noted for beauty, and now he lay made help- 
less by much wine — happy he, if he had made the night and 
play of equal length, and had prolonged his sport till dawn. 
As a famished lion ranging the well-stocked pens — for 
maddening hunger prompts him — mangles and tears the 
flock, feeble and dumb through fear; with gory jaws he 
growls [suc/i was JVi'sns]. Not fewer were the deaths dealt by 
Euryalus : he too, fired with ardour, revels in blood without 
a pause, and, as he goes, the nameless rabble slays in 
heaps, and springs on Fadus and Herbesus, and Rhoetus 
and Abaris, of danger heedless : Rhoetus awake and seeing 
all, but in his fear he tried to hide behind a massy jar; 
then as he rose right in his breast up to the hilt he plunged 
his vengeful sword, and drew it out with copious stream of 
death. He vomits forth his purple tide of life, and as he 
dies ejects his wine with blood confused : the other in his 
fervid zeal pursues the secret carnage. And now he neared 
Messapus and his men : and then he saw the watch-fires 
dying out, and horses duly bound cropping the grass : when 
Nisus briefly thus — for he perceived that he was borne away 
by wanton love of slaughter : Let us desist, for tell-tale 
light approaches. We have had our fill of vengeance, and 
through our enemies made good our road. IMuch armour 
richly chased with silver, and with them bowls and rugs of 
beauty rare, they leave behind. Euryalus receives the 
trappings of Rhamnes dead, and his belts with golden studs 
adorned, which Caedicus, of wealth unknown, had sent as 
gifts to Remulus of Tibur, when in absence he would form 
a right of hospitality : he, when he died, transmits them to 
his grandson to possess ; after whose death the Rutuli 

392 THE AENEID. [Book ix. 

obtained them by the right of war and victory : these hur- 
riedly he takes and fits them to his body, brave in vain.^ 
The hehnet of Messapus next he dons, well fitting and 
with crests adorned. They quit the camp and reach the 

Meanwhile some horse, sent on express from Latium, 
were on the march, and brought despatches for prince 
Turnus, — while the rest, prepared for battle, in the field 
remain, — three hundred strong, all bearing shields, with 
Volscens as their captain. And now they neared the camp 
and rampart : when distant a little space they see them 
turning to the left, and in the dim-lit shade of night his 
casque betrayed Euryalus, ne'er thinking of its golden sheen, 
which the confronting moon shed forth. It was not seen 
for nought. Volscens from his troop calls out : Stand, 
fellows : why go this way ? who are you thus in arms ? 
where are you bound ? They made him no reply, but to 
the woods they fled in haste, and trusted to the night. 
On this side and on that the horsemen block the well 
known roads, and every outlet with a guard inclose. The 
wood was one that bristled with brakes of gloomy holms, 
and tangled brambles filled it everywhere : here and there a 
path was seen amidst the darkened tracts. The shade of the 
o'erhanging boughs and the weighty load of spoils retard 
Euryalus, and fear now leads him to mistake the way. 
Nisus comes safely out : and now, not thinking of his friend, 
he had escaped the enemy, and those places which in later 
days were called " Albani" from the name of Alba — at that 
time Latinus held them as his lofty stalls — when he halted 
and for his missing friend in vain looked round. Oh, luck- 
less Euryalus ! where have I left you ? or where shall I seek 
you ? Again retracing all the tangled path of the de- 
ceptive wood he backward picks his steps with wary eye, 

^ ^^ Nequidquain " must be joined with "/or//6us,'^ not witli a^/af, as 
the order of the words would seem to show. 

364-426] THE AENEID. 393 

and in the quiet thickets threads his way. He hears the 
tramp of horses and the mingled din, and other proofs of a 
pursuing foe. Then short the interval, when to his ears 
there comes a shout, and he espies Euryalus, whom by the 
darkness and the place deceived, and by the sudden tumult 
dazed, the band are hurrying on, o'erpowered and struggling 
hard in vain. What can he do ? By what might, by what 
force of arms can he dare the youth to rescue ? Is he to 
rush upon their swords to certain doom, and by their 
wounds to hurry on a speedy death ? Then quickly with 
his arm drawn back he wields his javelin, and looking to the 
moon on high he prays her thus : O goddess, daughter of 
Latona, with present aid assist my effort, thou glory of the 
stars and guardian of the groves : if ever on your altars my 
father Hyrtacus laid gifts for me, if ever I myself increased 
them by the produce of the chase, or in your dome suspended 
them, or fixed them to your roof: grant me to dispel this 
band, and guide my weapons through the air. He spoke, 
and straining with his utmost might he hurls his dart. It 
flying cuts the shades of night and strikes the back of 
Sulmo, turned away, and there is shivered, and with its 
splintered wood pierces his vitals. He tumbles cold in 
death, and from his breast pours forth the flow of life's 
warm tide, and with long-drawn sobs he heaves his flanks. 
On every side they look around. The fiercer he beside his 
ear another weapon poised. Whilst in dismay they rush 
about, the spear goes whistling through the head of Tagus, 
and heated in the wounded brain stuck fast. Wildly in fury 
Volscens rages, but nowhere can he see the dealer of the 
blow, nor one on whom he may in vengeance rush. Mean- 
time shall you with your fresh blood pay me revenge for 
both, he says ; and so on Euryalus with sword unsheathed 
he rushed. Then in wild agony and mad with grief Nisus 
screams aloud : neither can he longer hide himself in 
darkness, nor was he able to endure such pangs. On me, 

394 THE AENEID. [Book ix. 

on me, I'm here who did it ; on me, ye Rutuli, turn all 
your weapons, all the blame is mine ; nought did he dare, 
nor could he : this heaven and the conscious stars I call 
to witness : he only loved his luckless friend too well. 
Thus was he speaking when the sword, driven home with 
powerful force, passed through his ribs and rent his snow- 
white breast. Euryalus rolls in death, and o'er his grace- 
ful limbs the blood flows down, and on his shoulders the 
drooping neck reclines ; as when a beauteous flower cut by 
the plough grows faint and dies, or poppies with exhausted 
stem hang low the head when sore weighed down with rain. 
But Nisus rushes to the midst, and only Volscens seeks : 
on Volscens is he wholly bent. The Latins crowding round 
are fain to beat him off. But no less eagerly he presses on, 
and whirls his flashing sword, till in the Rutule's baAvling 
mouth he plunged it to the hilt, and as he died bore off 
the foeman's life. Then on his hfeless friend he flung 
him down, all wounds, and there at last in peaceful death 

Happy pair ! If ought my verses can, no time shall ever 
blot you from the roll of fame, so long as the ^Eneian race 
shall hold the capitol's eternal rock, and a Roman Father 
wield imperial sway. 

The victors, taking prey and spoils, in sorrow bore to the 
camp the lifeless Volscens. Nor in the camp itself was 
mourning less when Rhamnes they found dead, and in 
that carnage many chieftains slain — Serranus, too, and 
Numa. Men run in crowds to see the bodies and the 
dying warriors, and the ground fresh stained with blood 
yet warm, and channels full of frothing gore. To one 
another they point out the spoils, the brilliant helmet 
that Messapus wore, and the trappings, with such deadly 
toil regained. 

And then Aurora, leaving Tithonus' saffron bed, was 
spreading o'er the earth her new-born light, the sun being 

427-492] THE AENEID. 395 

now revealed, and things on earth illumined by his light. 
Turnus to arms, himself with arms begirt, summons his 
men, and every leader masses for battle his bronze-clad 
lines, and whets their rage by various stories of the night 
just gone. Nay, even the heads of Nisus and Euryalus 
on spears erect they fix — a pitiable sight — and with much 
shouting follow on. On the city's left the hardy Trojans 
arrayed their lines, for the right is bounded by the river, 
and the great trenches man, and on the lofty towers in sad- 
ness stand. Besides their other griefs, their heroes' ghastly 
heads exposed to view — alas ! but too well known — and 
dripping still with gore, moved them to sorrow. 

Meanwhile, through the affrighted town winged Rumour 
flies in haste, and to the mother of Euryalus bears heavy 
news. But her in deepest grief the vital heat forsook : 
the shuttle was stricken from her hand, and her mounted 
threads unwound. The hapless woman flies from the house, 
uttering the well-known woman's wail, tearing her hair, 
and, mad to distraction, in rapid course she seeks the walls 
and foremost lines : nought thought she of the men, nought 
of the weapons' danger ; then with her loud complainings 
fills the air: Is it thus that I behold you, dear Euryalus? 
Could you, the latest prop of my declining age, leave me 
alone, ah cruel one ? Nor was it granted to your wretched 
mother to say a last farewell when you were sent to dangers 
such as these ! Alas, my son, in the stranger's land you 
lie, as carrion for Latin dogs and birds of prey ! Nor 
have I, your mother, led your funeral rites, or closed your 
eyes, or washed your wounds, or thrown on you the robe 
which I was pressing on with haste both night and day, and 
with my web beguiled my old wife's care ! "\\'here shall I 
seek you ? ^^'hat part of earth contains your severed mem- 
bers and your mangled corpse ? Is this all you bring me 
back, my son, of what you were ? Is it this that I have 
followed over land and sea ? If you have any tender feel- 

396 THE AENEID. [Book ix. 

ings, pierce me, O Rutulians ; at me hurl all your darts ; 
slay me with the sword. Or thou, great father of the gods, 
take pity on me, and with thy bolts hurl down to Tartarus 
this hated head, since otherwise I cannot break this wretched 
thread of life. With this her wailing the minds of all were 
smitten sore, and a groan of sorrow went from every heart : 
their powers for battle are broken and benumbed. Her, 
kindling up her grief. Actor and Idseus take, by order of 
Ilioneus and of liilus, bathed in tears, and place her in safe- 
keeping in her home. 

But now the trumpet from afar rang out with brazen 
throat the dreadful note of battle : loud shouts arise, and 
heaven bellows back the sound. The Volsci hasten for- 
ward, advancing the testudo with even tread, and prepare 
to fill the trenches and break down the rampart. Some 
seek to force an entrance, and by ladders to ascend the 
walls where the Trojan line is thin, and the circle of 
defenders not so dense with men shows openings through it. 
But the Trojans, by long experience taught how best a city 
to defend, their missiles poured in volleys, and with sturdy 
poles thrust their assailants to the ground. Nor do the bold 
Rutulians longer care to wage a covered fight, but by a storm 
of missiles strive to force them from the ramparts. Else- 
where Mezentius, terrible to view, wields a Tuscan pine, 
and flings his smoky brands. Again Messapus, a horseman 
bold and Neptune's son, the rampart breaks, and calls for 
ladders to ascend the walls. Then massy stones of deadly 
weight the Trojans o'er the bulwarks roll to break by any 
means the cover of the foe, while yet the enemy are pleased 
to suffer every risk beneath the close and well-knit roof of 
the testudo. And now no longer can they stand against it. 
For where the densest mass with threatening aspect shows, 
the Trojans roll and toss from the ledge an enormous mass, 
which scattered the Rutulians far and wide, and broke the 
penthouse of their shields. 

493-559] THE AENEID. 397 

Ye Muses, and you Calliope in chief, I pray, while I 
sing what slaughter there, what deaths did Turnus deal ; 
what one each hero down to Orcus sent : and unroll with 
me the war's great outlines. For ye, O goddesses, remember 
well, and can remind me. 

There was a tower of vast height and airy bridges,^ well 
suited to its site, which all the Italian host now tried to 
storm, and by every means at their command to overthrow, 
while the Trojans with stones defend it, and through the 
loop-holes hurled their darts in showers. Turnus, as leader, 
flings a blazing torch, and to the tower pinned the brand ; 
fanned by the wind, it seized the timbers, and to the charred 
beams held fast. All within was fear and tumult, and in vain 
men wished to fly from danger. While close they huddle, 
and to that part retreat which still is free from fire, the tower 
on a sudden topples over by the weight, and with the crash 
makes all the heaven ring. Half-dead they come to earth, 
•^above them the huge mass, — by their own darts and by 
the splintered wood transfixed. Scarce Helenor alone and 
Lycus make escape : the former in the bud of life, whom 
for the Maeonian king the slave Licymnia had in secret 
reared, and sent to Troy in arms denied him, armed 
lightly with a sword alone and an unblazoned shield. And 
when he finds the hosts of Turnus all around him, and 
Latin spears on this side and on that, like wild beast which 
by ring of hunters closely pressed against their weapons 
vents its rage, and seeing death darts on it, and with a 
bound impales her on their pikes, just so the youth rushes 
amidst the foe, prepared to die, and where the spears are 
thickest seen there makes his way. But Lycus, swifter far of 
foot, through enemies and arms reaches the walls, and tries 
to grasp the battlements in hopes to catch a comrade's 
hand ; whom Turnus following with dart in swift career, 

^ i.e., from the walls to the towers. 

398 THE AENEID. [Book 


thus chides : Madman, how hoped you to escape my hands ? 
And then he grasps him as he hangs, and wall and man 
together drags to earth : like as an eagle with his crooked 
claws, soaring aloft, has carried off a hare or snowy swan, or 
as a wolf, sacred to Mars, has snatched from the fold a lamb, 
with many bleatings by its mother sought. From all sides 
shouts arise ; forward they rush, and with earth they fill 
the trenches ; others fling blazing torches to the roofs. 
With a stone, vast fragment of a mountain, Ilioneus over- 
throws Lucetius, approaching the gate with brands ; Liger 
lays low Emathion ; Asilas Corynaeus slays, the one deft 
with his spear, the other with the arrow from afar ; Caeneus 
slays Ortygius, Turnus, the victorious Ceeneus, and Itys and 
Clonius, Dioxippus and Promolus, and Sagaris and Idas, 
guarding the lofty towers ; Capys, Privernus. Him the 
spear of Themilla first had slightly grazed ; he foolishly his 
buckler dropped, and to the wound he clapt his hand ; so 
in its winged course the arrow came, to his side it pinned 
the hand, and sinking deep it burst the lungs with fatal 
wound. In splendid arms the son of Arcens ^ stood, clad 
in embroidered cloak, and bright in Spanish purple, and 
noble in face and form, whom to the war his father sent, 
reared in his mother's grove, beside Synicethus' stream ; - 
there stood Palicus' altar mild, enriched with gifts, and 
easily appeased. Mezentius put aside his spear and took 
his whizzing sling, then thrice he whirled it round his head 
with cord held tight, and with the melted lead he clove his 
temples right in two, and stretched him at his length upon 
the sandy plain. 

Ascanius, who till then had only beasts of chase pursued, 

^ Arcens, a Sicilian, who permitted his son to accompany .^Eneas 
into Italy. 

^ Symcethus (Giaretti), a river of Sicily which falls into the sea 
between Catana and Leontini. In its neighbourhood the gods Palici 
were born, and particularly worshipped. 

560-623] THE AENEID. 399 

first drew, 'tis said, his bow in war, and by his hand laid 
low the brave Numanus, Remulus surnamed, who Turnus' 
younger sister had lately led in marriage. He stalked before 
the van, shouting things true and false, and of his royal 
wedlock proud in heart, with clamour loud he vaunted 
mightily : Ye Phrygians, twice already vanquished, are you 
not ashamed to skulk behind a rampart in blockade, and 
shelter you by walls fr;?m death ? Lo ! these are they who 
claim our brides by war. What god, what silly madness 
drove you to Italy ? Not here the sons of Atreus will you 
find, nor subtle-tongued Ulysses. By stock a hardy race, 
we bring our infants to the streams, and by the water and 
the icy cold we make them strong ; by night our boys go 
hunting, and scour the woods in chase ; their pastime is to 
manage steeds, and shoot the arrow from the bow. We 
have a youth whose heart is in their work, and who are used 
to frugal ways, and either by the harrows do they tame the 
earth, or batter towns in war. We pass our life in arms, and 
with inverted lance we goad the backs of bullocks in the 
plough ; nor does enfeebling age weaken our powers of mind 
or strength of body. Our hoary hairs with helmet we con- 
fine, and ever it is our delight booty to amass and live on 
plunder. You love to dress in saffron and in gaudy purple ; 
your heart's delight is sloth and indolence ; you're active 
only in the dance ; you wear sleeved tunics and caps with 
ribbons tied. Truly Phrygian women, not surely Phrygian 
men ! go range on Dindymus,^ and there enjoy your wonted 
music from the double pipe ; the timbrel and the flute of 
Cybele invite you to the revel ; leave arms to men, and 
throw aside the sword. 

Him boasting thus and hurling taunts, Ascanius could 
not brook : and facing round he stretched an arrow on the 
horse-hair string, and with his arms drawn wide apart he 

^ Dindymus, a mountain of Galatia in Asia Minor, where Cybele was 


400 THE AENEID. [Book ix, 

took his stand, first uttering a prayer to Father Jove : 
Almighty Jove, favour my bold attempt. To your temple I 
myself will bring you solemn offerings, and before your 
altar place a bull with gilded horns, of snowy whiteness, tall 
as his dam ; already with his horns he butts, and with his 
hoof the sand he spurns. Jove heard him, and in the cloud- 
less sky he thundered on the left : then twanged the deadly 
bow : the arrow, pulled to the stretch, has gone with dire- 
ful whiz, and through the head of Remulus it passed, 
piercing the hollow temples with the steel. Begone, and 
now with taunting words insult the brave. This is the reply 
the Phrygians, vanquished twice, send back to you Rutulians. 
So spake Ascanius : and the Trojans with their loudest 
shouts respond, and in rapturous joy they murmur their 
applause, while to the highest pitch their spirits rise. Then, 
as it chanced, Apollo of the flowing locks was looking down 
from heaven's height upon the Ausonian armies and the 
Trojan town, and, seated on a cloud, he thus bespeaks 
victorious liilus : Grow, princely boy, in early valour : that 
is the path which leads to heaven, O son of gods, father of 
gods to be. Under the race of Assaracus all future wars , 
justice shall settle : nor is this Troy your all.^ ^M"lile 
thus he spoke, he drops from lofty heaven, and cuts the 
winds, and seeks Ascanius. He then assumes the form 
of aged Butes. He once was armour-bearer to Anchises, 
and faithful guardian at his home : his father then assigned 
him to Ascanius as his squire. Apollo came, in all respects 
like aged Butes, in voice and in complexion, and in white 
hair and harshly sounding arms, and fiery liilus thus be- 
speaks : Suffice it now, liilus, that by your shafts Numanus 
fell, yourself unhurt : this first renown the great Apollo 
grants you, and envies not your rival arms : hereafter, boy, 

^ That is, this Nova Troia, the Trojan encampment, is only a step 
to Lavinium, and Lavinium to Alba, and Alba to the great Roman 

624-688] THE AENEID. 401 

refrain from war. This said, Apollo, even while he spoke, 
put off his human form, and vanished far from sight in 
subtle air. The Dardan chiefs the god discern and heavenly 
weapons, and as he fled they heard the rattling quiver. 
Thus by Apollo's word and will they check liilus, eager for 
the fray. Again to the fight they rush themselves, and risk 
their lives in open danger. From all the battlements the 
shout of war rang out : they bend the twanging bows and 
hurl the thong-tied lance. With weapons all the ground is 
strewn : battered shields and helmets ring : a bloody fight 
ensues : furious as from the west a rain storm comes at 
rising of the Kids^ and lashes earth : as many as the balls of 
hail which dash into the pools when Jupiter in fury south- 
ward drives the rainy tempest with its eddying whirls and 
bursts the hollow clouds. 

Now Pandarus and Bitias from Alcanor sprung, whom 
in Jove's grove on Ida the nymph laera reared, youths tall 
as the pines or as their native hills, unbar the gate com- 
mitted by the leader to their charge, and in foolhardy 
confidence of arms invite the enemy within the walls. At 
entrance before the towers on right and left they take their 
stand, armed with the sword, their giant heads brilliant with 
crests ; like as around the limpid streams on banks of 
Po, or by the charming Adige- twin soaring oaks together 
grow, and raise to heaven their leafy heads, and nod with 
highest top. In burst the Rutuli soon as they saw the 
access open. Quercens, and Aquiculus in beauteous arms, 
and Tmarus of headlong courage, and the martial Hasmon, 
either turned and fled with all their bands, or at the very 
entrance of the gate laid down their lives. Then more and 
more do passions rise in the opponents' hearts : and now 

^ These stars rise in October, and are always attended with rain. 
They are seated in the constellation Auriga. 

^ Adige, the ancient Athesis, a river of Cisalpine Gaul ; it rises in the 
Rhastian Alps, and falls into the Adriatic. 

2 C 

402 THE AENEID. [Book ix. 

the Trojans gathering flock to the spot, and dare to close in 
fight, and sally farther forth. 

To Turnus, revelling in slaughter in a different part, 
and spreading wild confusion, the news is brought that 
the foe are flushed afresh with carnage, and have their 
gates wide open thrown. The work in hand he leaves, 
and stirred with furious rage he hastens to the Trojan 
gate, and rushes at the daring pair. And first with javelin 
flung he slays Antiphates, great Sarpedon's bastard son 
by Theban mother, for he came foremost to the front. 
The Italian shaft speeds through the subtle air, and 
planted in his stomach passes through his lower chest : 
the wound's dark gash gives forth its tide of blood, and 
the cold steel is heated in the lung. Then Meropes and 
Erymas he kills, and bold Aphidnus too ; then Bitias, with 
glaring eyes and maddened mind — not with a spear, for to 
no spear would he have yielded life ; but with a whirlwind 
noise there came a whirled falarica,^ hurled like a thunder- 
bolt, which not two bullock-hides could stand, nor trusty 
cuirass with its double layer of golden scales ; down sinks 
his giant body in a swoon. Earth gives a groan, and with 
a thunder-crash his shield falls over him, such as on 
Baige's^ shore at times there falls a rocky pile,^ which, 
strongly built of massive stones, they hurl into the sea : 
down it tumbles with a crash, and dashing on the bottom 

^ The falarica (or phalarica) was a large and heavy javelin with 
an immense iron head and thick wooden shaft ; and to add to its 
weight and power there was a mass of lead on the shaft some dis- 
tance below the head. There was a specially large kind hurled by 

^ Bain;, a city of Campania, on a small bay west of Naples, and oppo- 
site Puteoli, said to have been founded by Baius, a companion of 

^ Masses of stone were put together on the land, and then hurled 
into the water, so as to gradually form a base, on which to build houses 
for the wealthy Romans. 

689-744] THE AENEID. 403 

lies at rest : the waters boil in wild confusion, and from the 
depths the murky sands are heaved. Shaken to the base 
all Prochyta ^ resounds, and Inarine's hard bed thrown on 
Typhoeus by command of Jove. 

Here Mars, the War God, to the Latin chiefs, gives 
courage and new vigour and deep in their bosoms plies his 
spurs ; but to the Trojan hosts sent Flight and Terror grim. 
And now from every part they come, since chance of fight 
is given, and the God of battle filled their minds. When 
Pandarus beheld his brother stretched in death, and how 
their fortunes stood, what evil chance has changed the day, 
with all his might he backward rolls the gate on swinging 
hinge by his broad shoulders' strength, and many a friend 
excludes, and leaves them to contend as best they may; but 
others flying he receives, infatuate ! who saw not Turnus 
rushing in among the crowd, but, 'gainst his wish, in- 
closed him in the town like ravening tiger amidst helpless 
sheep. At once a glare of rage shot from his eyes, and his 
arms rang terror in them : his blood-red crests upon his 
helmet nod, and from his shield he darts the flash of light- 
ning. The Trojans, panic-stricken, know the dreaded face 
and the enormous frame. Then mighty Pandarus springs 
forth, and by his brother's death inflamed with wrath, thus 
speaks : This is no dowry palace of Amata, nor does Ardea 
hold Turnus in his native walls. The camp of bitter enemy 
you see, and hence you can't escape, ^^'ith breast unmoved 
Turnus but smiled : Begin, if in your soul a spark of valour 
lies, and hand to hand engage. Be sure you tell king 
Priam that even here a new Achilles you have found. He 
said no more. The other, straining with his utmost might, 
hurled his knotted spear with rind unpeeled : the air re- 

^ Prochyta (Procida), an island of Campania, between Inarime and 
the coast. Inarime (Ischia), an island near the coast of Campania, 
with a mountain, under which Jupiter is feigned to have confined the 
giant Typha'us. 

404 THE AENEID. [Book ix. 

ceived the blow. Saturnian Juno turned aside the falling 
stroke, and in the gate the spear sticks fast. Ah, but the 
blade which my strong arm now wields you shall not thus 
escape ; for not so weak is he who swings the weapon and 
inflicts the wound. So speaks he, and on tiptoe rises to 
his lifted sword, and cleaves in twain his skull and beardless 
cheeks. A heavy thud is heard : the earth was shaken by 
the massy weight : his loosened joints and arms with brains 
besprent he flings to earth in death, and as he fell his head 
in equal parts from either shoulder hung. The Trojans 
turn and fly in wild dismay. And if at once the thought 
had struck the victor to burst the bolts and give admittance 
to his men, that day had put an end to war and to the 
Trojan race. But frenzy and the frantic lust of carnage 
drove him in fury on his foes in front. First Phalaris he 
overtakes, and Gyges with severed ham-string. From these 
he plucks his spears, and hurls them at the flying crowd : 
Juno his force and courage nerves. Halys he adds to these, 
and Phegeus with his pinioned shield ; next, as on the^ 
walls they stood and stirred their comrades to the fight, 
Alcandrus and Halius, and Noemon and Prytanis he slew, 
caught unawares. Then with the mound to right, with power- 
ful sweep of gleaming sword he catches Lynceus, turned 
to bay and calling up his friends to aid ; the head lopped 
from his shoulders by one ready blow at distance with the 
helmet lay. Next Amycus, the mighty hunter, than whom 
no other was more skilled to dip his weapons and with 
poison taint ; and Clytius, son of ^olus, and Cretheus to 
the Muses dear, — Cretheus, the Muses' friend, who ever 
loved to sing and play, and to music set his songs : of 
horses, and the arms of heroes and their battles would he 

At news of slaughter of their men, the leaders Mnestheus 
and Sergestus meet, and see their comrades flying here and 

745-813] THE AENEID. 40$ 

there, and the enemy within their waHs. Then Mnestheus , 
says : Where next, oh where do you direct your flight ? 
What other walls, what second rampart have you ? Has 
a single man, O citizens, and that too in your fortress 
hemmed, such carnage through the city dealt without 
avenging blow ? To Orcus has he sent so many valiant 
youths untimely ? For luckless fatherland and ancient 
gods and great ^neas have you pity lost, and has your 
sense of shame all gone, ye laggards? Roused by such 
words, they make a stand and form a dense array. By slow 
degrees Turnus gives ground, and seeks the river and the 
placewhich is surrounded bythe stream. All the more fiercely 
do the Trojans onward press with shouting loud, and cluster 
round him ; as when a rabble close on a savage lion with 
their deadly darts : but he dismayed, enraged and with 
ferocious look, retreats ; and neither will his wrath nor 
valour suffer him to fl)-, and yet to charge through weapons 
and through men he dares not, though he wishes much : 
just so does Turnus in suspense withdraw his steps at 
leisure, and his soul with sore vexation boils. Nay, more, 
at that time had he twice assailed their densest lines, and 
twice o'er all the wall pursued their routed bands, but 
quickly from the camp the whole array combines 'gainst 
liim alone, nor dares Saturnian Juno give him strength for 
that ; for Jupiter from heaven sent down aerial Iris, bearing 
to his sister stern commands, if Turnus quit not instantly 
the Trojan walls. Thus, neither by defence nor by attack 
can he resist so fierce a shock, so whelmed is he by darts 
from every side. W'ith ceaseless rattle on his brow the 
helmet rings, and by the battering stones the solid brass is 
riven ; the crests are stricken from his head ; nor does the 
bossy shield resist the strokes. The Trojans, and the furious 
Mnestheus at their head, redouble blow on blow, and then 
from all his frame the sweat distils, and a pitchy current 

4o6 THE AENEID. [Book ix. 

flows, nor can he breathe ; laboured panting shakes his 
wearied limbs. Now, at a bound, he plunges headlong in 
the stream with all his armour on. It in its yellow flood 
received him as he came, and on its softly flowing water 
bore him up, and to his friends restored him, cleansed of 


In the Tenth Book Jupiter calls a council of the gods, and attempts in 
vain a reconciliation between Juno and Venus, who favour the opposite 
parties. .^Eneas returns and joins battle with the Latins. Pallas is 
killed by Turnus, who by the interposition of Juno is saved from the 
avenging hand of ^neas. 

Meanwhile the palace of Olympus, seat of power supreme, 
is open thrown, and the father of gods and king of men 
to his home in heaven a council calls ; there from his 
throne on high he views all lands, the Trojan camp and 
Latin tribes. In the spacious hall, with doors to east and 
west, they take their seats; then Jove begins: Great deities, 
why is your purpose altered, and why, with biassed minds, 
do you contend ? My wish was that with the Trojans Italy 
should not engage in war. What mean these quarrels, all 
against my will? What jealous fear has prompted these or 
those to rouse to arms, and again call forth the sword ? A 
fitting time for war will come, and soon enough, when Car- 
thage, by and bye, in wrath shall hurl on Roman towers 
dread ruin and the riven Alps. Then 'twill be free to strive 
in bitter hate, and wild confusion spread. Just now forbear, 
and ratify with joy the fated league. Thus briefly Jove, but 
not so golden Venus : O Sire, O eternal Lord of men and 
earthly things, for what is there that I can else implore ? 
Seest thou how the Rutulians with insolence exult, and 
how Turnus, conspicuous in his car, rides madly through 

4o8 THE AENEID. [Book x. 

the ranks in pride of victory ? Even bulwarks, though 
closed, no longer shield the Trojans ; within the gates 
and on the turrets of the walls they fight, and flood the 
trenches with a stream of gore. ^neas is away, and 
knows it not. Will you never let them from blockade be 
free ? Once more an enemy, another army too, threatens 
the walls of infant Troy, and from ^tolian Arpi ^ once 
more Tydides rises up against the Trojans. For me,^ no 
doubt, new wounds are still in store, and I, your daughter, 
mortal arms delay. If, without your favour, and against 
your will, the Trojans Italy have sought, their faults let 
them atone, nor lend them any help ; but if by oracles 
advised, which gods above and shades below have given, 
they seek Ausonia, why now can any change your fixed 
decrees ? or why make up new schemes of destiny ? ^\'hy 
should I call to mind their ships consumed on the Sicilian 
shore ? ^\' hy name the storm-king, and the raging winds 
sent from ^'Eolia, or Iris from the clouds despatched in 
haste ? Now even the Manes does she set in motion — 
that portion of the universe was left untried — and AUecto 
is let loose on upper earth, revelling at will through all 
Italian towns. No longer now for empire do I care : that 
we once hoped for, while our fortune stood : let those 
you will prevail. If there's no quarter of the globe 
which your hard-hearted spouse to Trojans will allow, 
I beseech you, father, by the smoking fires of ruined 
Troy, permit me to release Ascanius from the risks of war, 
permit my grandson to survive. Let his father toss on seas 
unknown, and ever follow where chance the way may lead ; 
but oh, my grandson let me screen, and from the horrid fray 

^ Arpi, called also Argyripa, a city of Apulia, built by Diomede 
after the Trojan war. 

- Venus had in the Trojan war been wounded by Diomede ; and 
here she expresses her apprehension lest that should again occur, and 
that the war cannot end till she is assailed by a mortal. 


21-78] THE AENEID. 4O9 

withdraw. There's Aniathus, and lofty Paphos, and Cythera, 
and my IdaUan home : there let him spend his days, 
devoid of war's renown. Bid that Ausonia may be ruled in 
lordly sway by Carthage : by him no damage shall be done 
to Tyrian cities. What avails it that Trojans have escaped 
war's scourge, and have made good their way through 
Grecian fires, and have exhausted every risk of land and sea, 
if still they seek in vain for Latium and for towers of Troy 
again to rise ? Had it not been well to make their home 
upon their country's' ashes, and on the site where Troy once 
stood ? Restore the wTetched Trojans, I entreat you, their 
Simois and Xanthus, and allow them to repeat once more 
the stirring history of Troy's misfortunes. Then queenly 
Juno, goaded by bitter rage, replies : 'Why force me from 
deep silence to come forth and openly proclaim my 
smothered grief ? What man or god compelled ^neas to 
court a war, or to encroach in hostile guise on king Latinus ? 
By Fates' advice he made for Italy : granted ; urged by the 
words of mad Cassandra. Did we advise his camp to quit, 
or trust his life and fortunes to the winds ? and to a boy 
commit the conduct of the war, the safety of the walls ? 
to disturb the loyalty of Tuscans, and trouble tribes at 
peace ? What deity has brought him into mischief, or what 
stern power of mine ? Where in all this is Juno, and Iris 
from the clouds sent down ? It is a shame, forsooth, 
that the Italians should assail with fire the infant Troy, and 
that Turnus in his native land should stay, whose grandsire 
was Pilumnus,^ and his mother the divine Venilia ? '-' What 
shall we say of this, that sons of Troy attack the Latins 
with the smoky brand, that they hold by force fields not 
their own, and drive away the prey ? A\'hat, fathers to 

■* Pilumnus, a deity worsliipned at Rome, from whom Turnus boasted 
that lie was lineally descended. 

- \'enilia, a nymph, sister to Amata, and mother of Turnus by 

4IO THE AENEID. [Book x. 

deceive, and from their bosoms wrest the pUghted bride; to 
sue for peace in name, but signs of war display ? yEneas 
you can snatch from hands of Greeks, and veil the man 
with cloud and empty mist, and into nymphs his ships con- 
vert. That the Rutulians I should help the least is heinous, 
I suppose ? yEneas is away, and knows not : in ignorance 
and absence let him stay. Paphos and Idalium and 
Cythera high are at your service. Why seek a city teem- 
ing with war's alarms, and men in furious mood ? Was it I 
that tried to wholly overthrow Troy's tottering state ? Was 
it I, or he who wantonly exposed the Trojan to the Greek ? 
Whose ^ fault was it that Europe against Asia rose in arms, 
and that the rights of hosts and guests were foully broken ? 
Was it I who led the adulterous Dardan to lay siege to 
Sparta ? did I supply the weapons for his war, or foster strife 
to gratify his lust ? That was the time to have your fears 
for friends : 'tis now too late to rise with groundless plaints, 
and hurl at me your silly taunts. 

So Juno pleaded ; and all the gods in tones suppressed 
their varying verdict gave, some on this side, some on that ; 
as when the rising blasts caught by the woods with rustling 
noise are heard, and the dull murmurs ^ onward roll, fore- 
warning sailors of the coming storm. Then Father Jove, 
who all things human chiefly guides, thus speaks : and as 
he spoke the lofty palace of the gods is hushed in silence, 
and earth in its foundation shakes ; the highest heaven is 
still ; the zephyrs lull ; the sea subsides and calms its waves. 
Hear, then, my words, and lay them well to heart. Since 
fate permits not that the Ausonians join in league with sons 
of Troy, nor do your wranglings find an end ; whatever 
fortune is to each to-day, whatever hope each for himself 

^ ^' Qiuc" must not be joined with "causa," but taken indepen- 

^ The Scotch word " sough " is perhaps the best to express the iilea 
suggested by " circa iniiniiura." 


carves out, in no distinction shall I hold the Trojan or 
Rutulian, whether in close blockade the camp by fates of 
Italy is held, or by Troy's mistake and by a false advice. 
Nor do I the Rutulians free. To each side shall their efforts 
bring success or loss. King Jupiter will be the same to all. 
The Fates will take their course. He nodded his assent, 
and to seal his oaths he calls the rivers of his Stygian 
brother, and those banks which boil with pitch and murky 
swirls, and with that nod he made Olympus tremble to its 
utmost bounds. So ends the Council. Then Jove arises 
from his golden throne, and him to his door the other gods 
with honour due conduct. 

Meanwhile the Rutulians at the gates the warriors strive 
to slay, and with fire the walls to gird. But the Trojan 
troops are closely pent within the ramparts, nor hope 
they for escape. Upon the lofty towers they stand in sorry 
plight, and purposeless, and with a broken line their walls 
have manned. Asius, son of Imbrasus, and Thymoetes, son 
of Hicetaon, the two Assaraci, and aged Thymbris with 
Castor, form the foremost rank : then from the far-famed 
Lycia come Clarus and Theemon, brothers of Sarpedon 
slain. Striving with all his might, Acmon of Lyrnesus 
bears an enormous stone, itself a hill, — inferior he neither 
to his father Clytius nor his brother Mnestheus. Some 
with their spears, others with stones, strive to defend the 
walls, and hurl their brands and fit their arrows to the 
string. In the midst, the Dardan youth himself, most rightly 
Venus' charge, with uncovered head appears conspicuous, 
like a diamond set in gold for coronet or necklace, or 
bright as gleams the ivory when cased in boxwood, or in 
ebony of Oricum ;^ his milk-white neck receives his spread- 
ing locks, by golden circlet bound. You also, Ismarus, 
your noble clansmen saw aiming your deadly strokes, and 
arming your darts with poison, nobly born of a IMaeonian 
^ Orician ebony, from Oricum, a town of Epirus. 



[Book x. 

stock, where men the loamy furrows till, and with his golden 
stream Pactolus ^ floods. There, too, was Mnestheus, whom 
the fame of driving Turnus from the wall exalts in glory ; 
and Capys, — from him the city Capua derives its name. 

On both sides had they fought with stubborn will : and 
now ^neas at the dead of night the waters ploughed. For 
when, Evander left, he joined the Tuscan camp ; at once he 
seeks the king, and both his race and name he tells ; and 
what he asks and what he brings ; what forces to his aid 
Mezentius calls, and Turnus' haughty and ferocious mood 
declares ; of fickleness of human things he speaks, and then 
his suit prefers : there's no delay : Tarchon his forces joins, 
and makes a league : then the Lydian race, now free from 
fate's restraints, ascend the ships with sanction of the gods. 
Of foreign captain now in charge Eneas' galley leads the 
way : beneath the beak two Phrygian lions couch; above them 
Ida shows, a pleasing sight to Trojan exiles. Here great 
^^neas sits, and ponders with himself the changing fates of 
war: on his left young Pallas, clinging close, asks of the stars 
that guide in darksome nights — of all his sufferings both by 
land and sea. 

Now open Helicon, ye Muses, and bestir my song, and 
say what bands meantime attend ^neas from the Tuscan 
shores and man his ships and with him plough the sea. 
Massicus first cuts the waters in the brazen Tigris ; with 
him there are a thousand youths who left the walls of 
Clusium - and the town of Cosa ; ' whose weapons are the 
arrow-shaft, light quivers on their shoulders, and a deadly 
bow. With him was Abas, stern of look ; all whose squadron 

^ Pactolus, a river of Lydia issuing from Mount Tmolus, and 
falling into the Hermus below Sardes. The sands of the Pactolus, 
like those of the Hermus, were mingled with gold. 

- Clusium, a town of Etruria, on the banks of the Clanis, where 
Porsenna was king in days of early Roman history. 

^ Cosa and Populonia, maritime towns of Etruria. 

142-191] THE AENEID. 413 

was in conspicuous armour drest, and on the poop a gilt 
Apollo shone. Six hundred warriors skilled in fight did 
Populonia send ; but Ilva^ three hundred, an island with 
exhaustless mines. Third, famed Asilas, who the will of 
gods to men declares, whom flesh of cattle and the stars 
obey, and tongues of birds, and flash of lightning which 
the future tells, brings a thousand, close arrayed, with 
bristling spears. These Pisa ^ gives in charge, a city 
Tuscan in position, but in origin Alphean. Noblest of all 
comes Astur, in his steed confiding and his parti-coloured 
arms. Who dwell in Ccere^ and on Minio's^ fields, and 
ancient Pyrgi, and Graviscae with unhealthy air, three hun- 
dred add — in heart and soul all one. 

Nor you will I omit, brave Cycnus,^ chief of the Ligu- 
rians ; nor you Cupavo, though your men were few, from 
whose helmet rise the plumes of swans— affection was your 
family bane — badge of your father's altered form. For 'tis 
said that Cycnus, while through grief at death of much- 
loved Phaethon he sings amidst the poplar boughs and 
shade of sisters' trees,** and by music soothes his melancholy 

^ Ilva (Elba), an island of the Tyrrhene Sea, between Italy and Coi- 
sica ; it was famous for its iron mines. 

^ Pisa, a town of Etruria, at the moulli of the Arnus, built by a 
colony from Pisa in Elis. 

^ Crere, a city of Etruria, of which IMczcntius was king when tineas 
came to Italy. 

■' Minio (Mignone), a river of Etruria, falling into the Tyrrhene Sea. 
Pyrgi and Graviscre, maritime towns of Etruria. 

^ Cycnus, a son of .Sthenelus, king of Liguria, who was deeply 
affected at the death of his friend Phaethon, and was metamorphosed 
into a swan. Phaethon, the son of Phoebus and Clymene, according 
to the poets, was entrusted by his father with the chariot of the sun 
for one day, when, by his unskilful driving, he set the world on fire, 
upon which Jupiter struck him with a thunderbolt, and he fell into the 
river Po. 

" Sisters' trees: the sisters of Phaethon (the Ilcliades) were changed 
into poplar trees. 

414 THE AENEID. [Book x. 

love, waxed old with hoary plumage clad, and soared from 
earth, still singing, to the stars. His son, attended in his 
fleet by warriors of an equal age, propels with oars the 
stately Centaur : a Centaur from the bow projects, with rock 
in hand, which from on high he seems in act of heaving on 
the waves, and with his length of keel he furrows up the 

Famed Ocnus ^ from his native coasts leads on his 
squadron, son of prophetic Manto and the Tuscan stream, 
who to your walls gave, Mantua, his mother's name,- — ■ 
Mantua, rich in ancestry ; but not of one blood and race : 
the race is threefold, four peoples under each : of the 
peoples she is the chief; her .strength lies in her Tuscan 
blood. Five hundred hence Mezentius roused with arms 
against himself, whom Mincius, fringed with azure reeds, 
bore to the plains in hostile ships from Lake Benacus. 
Aulestes onward moves in might, and rising to the stroke 
he smites the billows with a hundred oars : the glassy 
surface of the deep to seething foam is lashed. A Triton 
of enormous size, seeming with his shell to startle all 
the azure seas, conveys him ; whose shaggy front when 
swimming shows to the waist a human form, his belly in a 
pristis ends ; under his breast, half man's half beast's, the 
waters loudly gurgle. 

So many chiefs in thirty ships were on their way to help 
the Trojans, and with their brazen prows now ploughed the 
salt sea-plains. 

Now from the sky had day withdrawn, and bounteous 
Phoebe in her nightly car was treading mid-Olympus. 
yEneas — for to his limbs his cares no rest allow — sits at the 
helm himself, and steers, and tends the sails. And now, in 
middle of his course, a choir of old companions came to 

^ Ocnus, the son of Tiber and Manto, who assisted ^Eneas against 
Turnus. He built a town which he called Mantua, after his mother's 


-250] THE AENEID. 415 

meet him ; those nymphs whom gracious Cybele had willed 
to have dominion in the sea, and from ships had made them 
to be Nymphs, were floating side by side, and cut the waves 
at equal speed,^ as many as before had lined the coast with 
brazen prow. Their prince at distance they descry, and in 
circling gambols round his ship disport. Of these, Cymo- 
doce, most glib of tongue, following behind, with right hand 
grasps the ship, and raising her back above the tide she 
gently paddles with her left beneath the waters. Then, to 
his surprise, she speaks as follows : ALneas, offspring of 
the gods, are you awake ? Awake and give your ships full 
sail. 'Tis we, the pines once hewn on Ida's sacred top, 
now ocean-nymphs, but formerly your fleet. ^^'hen the 
false Rutulian drove us by fire and sword to fly in haste, we 
broke your hawsers, much against our will, and now we seek 
you on the main. The mother of the gods in pity changed 
our shapes, and made us ocean-nymphs to spend our lives 
beneath the waters. But young Ascanius is held inclosed 
by wall and ditch in midst of weapons and of Latins in 
battle's fiercest mood. Now the Arcadian horse, united 
with the brave Etruscans, have reached the place appointed. 
These squadrons Turnus means to intercept, that they may 
never reach the Trojan camp. Rise quick, and at the 
dawn of day make haste to call your men to arms, and take 
the shield which Vulcan made invincible, and rimmed it 
round with gold. '1'0-morrow's sun, if these my words you 
deem not vain, shall see Rutulians slain in heaps. She 
spoke ; and with her right hand, as she left, she shoved the 
lofty ship, with perfect knowledge of the force and mode. 
Over the waves it fl'es swifte" than a javelin, and an arrow 
equalling the wind in speec. Thence all the rest are 
hastened on their course, ^^neas, ignorant of the cause, 

^ " Afodo" refers to the keeping tlie ship properly poised while the 
impulse was given. 

4l6 " THE AENEID. [Boo 

K X. 

is lost in wonder ; yet by the omen are his spirits raised. 
Then looking up to heaven's height he briefly prays : 
Bounteous mother of the gods, Idaean Cybele, who dost 
delight in Dindymus, and tower-bearing cities and lions 
yoked in pairs, be thou my leader in the fight ; the omen 
duly prosper ; and, O goddess, come to the Phrygians with 
thine aid benign. 

So did he speak ; and now the day, come round once 
more, was hurrying on to perfect light, and darkness had 
dispelled. And first his comrades to obedience he enjoins, 
to rouse the warlike spirit, and for the fight prepare. And 
now, as on the poop he stands, he has the Trojans and 
his camp in view, and then he raised on high his flaming 
shield. From the battlements the Trojans raise a deafening 
shout which rent the sky : the new-born hope rouses their 
fury : all missiles with their might they hurl : just as beneath 
the darkening clouds Strymonian cranes give signal of ap- 
proach, and with noisy din haste through the sky, and from 
the south winds fly with clamour in their train. 

But Turnus and the Ausonian leaders were by this 
amazed, until they saw the vessels heading to the shore, 
and a sea of galleys bearing down in force. .Eneas' helmet 
glitters in the sun, and from his crest above the flames burst 
forth, and the golden shield emits vast floods of fire ; just 
as when in a clear bright night the bloody comets give a 
baleful glare, or as blazing Sirius — that star which to weary 
mortals brings disease and drought — rises and saddens heaven 
with ill-boding light. 

Yet Turnus shrinks not from his bold design to occupy 
the shore, and as they come to drive them from the land. 
[By words he cheers his men and chides them too.] What 
in your prayers you asked, you have — the power to crush 
the foe. Brave men have Mars himself in their control. ^ 

' i.e., brave men have the martial spirit embodied in their hands. 

251-316] THE AENEID. 417 

Let each remember wife and home ; your fathers' deeds 
and glory to your mind recall. Stay not, but in their bustle 
let us meet them by the stream, and while they land with 
tottering steps. P'ortune aids the bold. This said, he 
silently debates what troops are best to lead the fight, to 
whom commit the siege. 

INIeantime the Trojan aUies from the ships descend by 
gangways. Some watch the ebbing of the feebler surf and 
to the shallows leap, and some slide down by oars. 
Tarchon observes the strand where waters sound not, nor 
broken wave remurmurs, but a sea unchafed glides on with 
spreading flow ; then suddenly he turns the prow and 
animates his crews : Now, my chosen men, lie to your 
sturdy oars, and on the beach lift high your boats : cleave 
with the beaks the strangers' land, let every keel its furrow 
find. I care not though my ship I break, if once I reach 
the shore. When Tarchon this had said, his comrades, 
one and all, rise to the oars, and onward drive the foaming 
ships to Latin soil, until the prows run quite aground, and 
all the keels in safety settle down. Not so your galley, 
Tarchon, for while upon the shallows dashed, it hangs in 
balance on a bank of sand, and beats the waves ; it breaks 
asunder, and lands the men among the water ; whom broken 
oars and floating benches hinder, and the receding wave 
retards their steps. 

Nor lingers Turnus, but 'gainst the Trojans hurries up 
his lines, and stands to face them on the shore. The 
trumpet sounds. Foremost in the van ^neas bounded 
on the rustic troops, and, omen of the fight, the Latins 
slew in heaps, among them Theron, a mighty warrior, w^ho 
unassailed made for ^neas. Right through his brazen 
corslet, and through his tunic with its golden plates, the 
sword passed on and drained the life-blood from his side. 
Then Lichas next he smites, cut from the womb of his 
dead mother, and to you, O Phoebus, sacred, because as an 

2 D 



[Book x. 

infant he escaped the perils of the knife,^ and then in quick 
succession the stubborn Cisseus and the gigantic Gyas he 
did to deatli, as with clubs they felled the bands. Of no 
avail to them were arms of Hercules, nor their own strong 
hands, nor Sire Melampus, Alcides' comrade so long as earth 
afforded toilsome labours. Aiming at Pharos while he shouts 
his idle boasts, he plants the javelin in his bawling mouth. 
You too, ill-fated Cydon, when Clytius, your newest flame, 
you follow, yellowing his cheeks with the first down of youth, 
laid low by Dardan arm, forgetful of your youthful loves to 
you so dear, would then have lain a wretched corpse, had 
not a band of brothers, sons of Phorcus, come between : 
seven they were in all, and seven darts they throw ; some 
woundless from the helmet and the shield rebound, some 
merely scrape the flesh and turn aside by Venus' kindly 
care. Then to faithful Achates ^neas says : Supply me 
darts in plenty : none shall I hurl in vain at the Rutulians 
of those that on the Trojan plains were fixed in flesh of 
Greek. A heavy spear at once he takes and throws : it 
flying crashes through the brazen shield of Maeon, and 
burst both breast and corslet. Alcanor rushes up, and 
with his hand supports his falling brother ; piercing whose 
arm the darted spear holds on its bloody course, and from 
the shoulders by the sinews held the arm hung lifeless. 
Then Numitor attacks .^neas with a javelin from the body 
torn ; but fate forbade to strike him straight, and so it 
merely grazed Achates' thigh. Here Clausus of Cures, 
trusting in his youthful frame, advances, and with his 
sturdy spear, driven boldly home, wounds Dryops under- 
neath the chin, and from his severed throat withdraws at 
once both speech and life ; but he with forehead beats the 
ground, and vomits from his mouth the clotted blood. 
Three Thracians, too, of Boreas' exalted race, and three 

^ Such children were consecrated to Apollo. 

317-385] THE AENEID. 419 

whom father Idas and native Ismara sends, by different 
deaths he slays. Hala;sus rushes to the front, and the 
Auruncan band ; Messapus, too, great Neptune's son, by 
steeds conspicuous, comes : now these strain every nerve 
to drive the other back : the first foot of Ausonian ground 
they doggedly contest; As jarring winds in heaven's great 
realms with fury and with strength engage in conflict, each 
yields not to the other, nor clouds to clouds, nor sea to sea : 
long is the contest doubtful : all are in equal poise, one 
struggling with the other : just so the Trojan and the Latin 
hosts meet in the shock of battle : foot is tightly locked 
with foot, and man close pressed on man. 

But in another part, where mountain torrent with its 
whirling flood had washed down stones and trees uprooted 
on the banks, and spread them far and wide, when Pallas 
saw the Arcadians, unused to fight on foot, turning their 
backs to Latium in pursuit — since the rugged ground in- 
duced them to let go their steeds — now with entreaty, now 
with reproach he stirs their valour, all he could do in such 
distress. Where fly you, comrades ? By you and by your 
gallant deeds, by Prince Evander's name and by our battles 
won, and by my hopes which now aspire to match his 
fame, trust not to speed of foot. Our swords must cleave a 
passage through the foe. Where densest seems the throng, 
through it our noble country calls on you and Pallas to 
return. No deities pursue us : 'tis by a mortal enemy we're 
pressed : their lives and hands are many as our own. 
See how the deep by mighty barrier hems us in : by land 
there's no escape : the ocean shall we seek, or Troy ? This 
said, he rushes 'midst the thickest of the fight. Lagus first 
meets him, led by bitter fate : him as he tugs a ponderous 
stone he pierces with a lance, just where the spine divides 
the ribs in double row, and wrenches out the spear fast 
locked among the bones. Him Hisbo, though he hopes 
it, fails to catch by downward stroke : for him, as he 

420 THE AENEID. [Book x. 

rushes on in fury, made reckless by his comrade's death, 
Pallas anticipates, and hides his sword in his inflated lung. 
Next Sthenelus he attacks, and Anchemolus, of Rhcetus' 
ancient line, who dared by incest to defile his father's 
bed. You also fell on the Rutulian plains, twin sons of 
Daucus, Larides and Thymber, so like in face that friends 
even failed to say which was which ; to parents 'twas a 
pleasing source of doubt. But Pallas made a cruel differ- 
ence between ; for Thymber's head his falchion lopped, and 
your right hand, Larides, seeks its owner : the fingers 
twitch, and try to grasp the steel once more. His warning 
and his valiant deeds rouse the Arcadians, whom shame and 
vexation mixed impel against their foes. Then Rhoeteus in 
his chariot flying past he strikes. Such time and such delay 
were given to Ilus — for he had aimed at Ilus from afar his 
sturdy spear, which Rhoeteus intercepted, as you he flies from, 
bravest Teuthras, and your brother Tyres; and tumbUng from 
his car, with dying heels he spurns Rutulian plains. As when 
in summer time a wished-for wind has risen, and the shepherd 
flings in the woods his scattered brands : through the wide 
plains dread Vulcan's lines extend, at once devouring all 
between : he sits in triumph and surveys the conquering 
flames : so is the valour of each comrade to a centre 
drawn, and gives you, Pallas, needed aid. But Halaesus, 
fierce in war, rushes against the enemy, and gathers 
himself up beneath his shield. Ladon he slays, and 
Pheres, and Demodocus. Strymonius' hand raised at his 
throat he lops with gleaming sword. Then Thoas with a 
stone he strikes, and scatters bones and brains around. 
His father, knowing Fate's decrees, had hid Halsesus in the 
woods : but when the old man's eyes relaxed in death, the 
Parcse claimed him, and gave him to Evander's arms. 
Him Pallas seeks, first praying thus : O Father Tiber, to 
the lance I poise grant good success, and passage through 
the breast of strong Halsesus : my prayer heard, your oak 

386-454] THE AENEID. 42 1 

shall wear these arms and warrior's spoils. His words were 
heard : hapless Halsesus, while he shields Imaon, lays open 
to the Arcadian spear his own unguarded breast. But 
Lausus, bulwark of the war, suffers not his men to be dis- 
mayed by such a hero's death : first Abas facing him he 
slays, the knot and stay ^ of war. Arcadia's sons are slain, 
Etruscans are laid low, and you, O Trojans, by the Greeks 
unharmed. They meet in shock of battle, in leaders equal 
and in strength alike. The rear ranks pressing on condense 
the front, and by reason of the crush nor hands nor weapons 
can be moved. On this side Pallas stimulates his men, on 
that side Lausus, nor differ they in age : in figure both dis- 
tinguished : but to both had Fate denied a safe return to 
home. Yet mighty Jove permitted not that they should 
meet in deadly fight : his fate awaited each beneath a 
mightier hand. 

Turnus meantime, who through the midst rides in his 
rapid car, his sister warns to take the place of Lausus. Soon 
as his friends he saw, 'Tis time to stop the fight : 'gainst 
Pallas I alone advance : to me alone is Pallas due : would 
that his father, too, were here to see the sight. He spoke ; 
and at the word his comrades cleared the plain. The 
troops withdrawn, Pallas views Turnus with amaze, he 
marvels at his haughty speech, and his massive frame 
surveys, and with fierce look scans him from head to foot, 
and then the tyrant's threats he thus defies : By goodly 
trophy won or by a noble death I glory gain : for either 
fate my father is prepared. Your vaunting cease. He 
spoke, and strode into the field. Li kind Arcadian hearts 
the blood runs cold. From his chariot Turnus bounds, to 
meet him hand to hand on foot. As when a lion from a 

^ " AWw« " is a metaphor derived from the difficulty with which 
knots are unfastened. It may also refer to a knot in wood which resists 
the wedge or tlie axe of the carpenter. 

422 THE AENEID. [Book x. 

lofty height beholds at distance in the plain a bull in 
practice for the strife, and rushes on him with a furious 
bound, just so does Turnus come. And now, when 
Pallas deemed it but a javelin-cast, he "takes first throw, 
if any chance might aid his ill-matched powers, and thus 
to heaven he prayed : Now, by my father's hospitable 
board, which you a stranger shared, Alcides, help my 
bold attempt I earnestly entreat. Let Turnus feel me, as 
from his dying frame I wrest his bloody arms, and may his 
swimming eyes hail me his conqueror. Alcides heard the 
youth, and in his bosom crushed a heavy sigh, and poured 
forth tears in vain. Then Father Jove in kindly words 
addressed his son : The day of each is fixed : brief and 
determined is the space of life to all : but to prolong his 
fame by deeds, that is the brave man's task. Beneath the 
lofty walls of Troy how many sons of gods have fallen ! 
aye, and among the rest my own dear son Sarpedon died. 
His Fates now summon Turnus too, and to the goal of his 
allotted life he comes. He speaks, and from the plains of 
Italy averts his eyes. But Pallas with his utmost might 
discharged his spear, and from the scabbard tears his shining 
sword. Where topmost coverings of the shoulders swell 
the flying javelin sped, and passing through the buckler's 
rim it grazed even then the mighty frame. Next Turnus 
poising long his steel-tipped shaft at Pallas aimed, and 
thus he speaks : See if my dart has greater power to 
pierce. But the shield, so many plates of iron, of brass so 
many, which ox hide covers fold on fold, the spear with 
quivering stroke right in the centre pierces through and 
through, and rends the corslet's barrier, and tears the 
manly breast. In vain he tries to wrench the weapon from 
the wound : by the same passage issue blood and soul. He 
falls upon the wound, and over him his armour rang ; and 
as he died, he bit with bloody mouth the foeman's soil. 
Then Turnus, standing over him : Arcadians, says he, forget 

455-522] THE AENEID. 423 

not to Evander my message to convey : such as he merits,'^ 
Pallas I restore. ^Vhate'er the honour of a tomb, whate'cr 
the solace of a grave, I freely give. His league of friend- 
ship with ^2neas will cost him not a little. So saying, the 
body with his foot he pressed, and seized the ponderous 
belt stamped with a tale of crime : how fifty youths, one 
nuptial night, were foully slain, and bridal chambers stained 
with blood : this Clonus, son of Eurytus, had carved in 
high relief of gold : now Turnus proudly wears the belt, 
and glories in the spoil. Ah, human mind, that knows not 
fate and future chance, unchecked by bounds when Fortune 
smiles. To Turnus soon the time will come when he shall 
wish that Pallas he had never touched, and to undo the 
deed would heavy ransom pay; when he shall hate the 
trophy and this day. But with many sighs and tears his 
comrades bear back Pallas on his shield. Oh, to a parent 
sad but glorious return ! This day first sent you to the war, 
this same one takes you hence. This battle-field has been 
your first as it has been your last, while yet you leave upon 
the field heaps of Rutulians slain. 

And now not Rumour but a trusty hand hastens to 
-^neas with the news that his men in direst peril stand, and 
that 'tis time to aid the routed Trojans. Whatever meets 
him with his sword he mows, and furious hews a passage 
through the throng, seeking you, Turnus, proud with recent 
slaughter. Pallas he sees, Evander, all : the tables, too, 
which first received him as a stranger, and the pledged 
right hands. Four sons of Sulmo, four which Ufens rears, 
he takes alive to slay as victims to the Shades, and quench 
the funeral flames with captives' blood. 'Gainst Mago at 
a distance he had hurled a deadly spear : he deftly stoops, 
and over him the quivering javelin flies; then he clasps 

^ That is, such as Evander merits for joining .rEneas. Some think, 
such as Pallas merits for his bravery. lUit that seems too noble a 
sentiment for the ferocious character {viokn/ia) of Turnus. 

424 THE AENEID. [Rook x. 

his knees in abject prayer, and thus bespeaks liim : By 
great Anchises' shade, and by the hopes of young lulus' 
springing day, I pray you spare this life for father and for 
son. I have a noble house ; within are hidden stores of 
silver coin ; masses of gold wrought and unwrought are 
mine. On me hangs not the victory of Troy, nor will 
one life decide the great award. He spoke : and in 
return yEneas made reply : Spare for your children the 
heaps of gold and silver which you name. By death of 
Pallas Turnus has first removed all friendly intercourse of 
war. So think my father's Manes, so thinks liilus. Then 
with his hand he grasps the suppliant's helm, and in his 
bended neck up to the hilt he drives the vengeful sword. 
Haemonides was near, the priest of Phoebus and Diana, his 
temples with a sacred fillet wreathed, bright in sacerdotal 
robes and trappings white. He attacks and drives him o'er 
the plain, and standing on him as he fell he slays him, and 
covers him in death's dark shade. Serestus bears away the 
gathered arms, to you a trophy, Mars Gradivus. C3q,culus, of 
Vulcan's seed, and Umbro, from the Marsian hills, renew 
the battle. The Dardan chief against them storms in fight. 
Anxur's left arm he with his sword struck off and dashed 
to earth his shield : — some boastful phrase he just had 
uttered, and thought that force would back the words, and 
possibly was forming hopes as high as heaven, and to 
himself grey hairs had given and many years of life ; — 
when Tarquitus, bounding proudly forward in his glittering 
arms, — whom Dryope, the mountain nymph, had borne to 
Faunus, — confronted the Trojan in his furious rage. He 
with his spear drawn back together pinned his corslet and 
his massive shield : then, as he begs and wishes to say much, 
the head he trundles on the ground, and pushing off the 
trunk, still warm, thus speaks with angry mind : Lie there 
now, dreaded warrior. No mother kind shall lay you in the 
ground, or load your body with ancestral tomb ; you shall 

523-590] THE AENEID. 425 

be left for birds of prey, or a wave shall bear you to the 
seething deep, and hungry fish shall lick your bleeding 
wounds. Then Lucas and Antaeus he pursues, flower of 
Turnus' heroes, and valiant Numa, and Gamers with his 
auburn locks, descended from the noble Volscens, who was 
richest of all Ausonians in land, and reigned in Amyclse, silent 
town.^ Like as /Egaeon, with his hundred arms and hundred 
hands, and fifty mouths that breathed forth fire, when 
'gainst Jove's thunderbolts he clashed as many shields and 
drew as many swords ; so victorious ^Eneas vented his rage 
o'er all the plain when once his blade was warmed. Against 
Niphoeus in his four-horse car he goes, and marks his front 
exposed. And when the horses saw his stately stride and 
furious rage they wheeled in fright, and rushing back they spill 
their chief and drag the chariot to the shore. Lucagus mean- 
while on a snow-white pair advances to the midst, and with 
him brother Liger. His brother guides the steeds, and 
Lucagus whirls in air a naked sword, ^neas could not 
brook such maddened zeal : he rushed upon them, and 
stood before them in majestic lieight with ready spear. 
Then Liger thus : You see not here the steeds of IJiomede, 
nor Achilles' chariot, nor the plain of Troy : now and here 
your war and life shall end. Such words from foolish Liger 
fly. But no reply the Trojan hero deigns ; his only 
answer is a well-hurled dart. As Lucagus bends forward 
to the stroke, and with spear-goad spurs his steeds, and while 
with his left advanced he stays him for the fight, the spear 
emerges through the buckler's lowest rim and perforates his 
groin : hurled from his car he rolls in death-throes on 

^ It had been deserted by the inhabitants, in consequence of the 
serpents that infested it, and thus "silence reigned" in its empty 
streets. So Wagner. There was an Amyclre in Greece, of which tlie 
Italian town was said to be a colony. Tlie story is that false alarms of 
intended attacks by the Achaeans having been often raised, strict orders 
were issued that no one should mention the subject. At last the enemy 
did come, and surprised and took the city. 



[Book x. 

the plain. Him in cutting words ^neas thus addressed : 
No slowness of your steeds your chariot has betrayed, nor 
have empty shadows turned them from the foe : you, jump- 
ing from the car, have left your team. This said, he seized 
the horses : the luckless brother, sliding from the car, 
stretched out his pithless hands : By yourself, O Trojan 
hero, by those who gave you birth, spare this life, and your 
wretched suppliant pity. x\s more he prayed, ^neas says : 
No words like these you lately uttered : die, and in your 
death leave not a brother. Then with his blade he opened 
wide his breast, the soul's retreat. Such deaths o'er all the 
field the Trojan leader dealt, like a black whirlwind or a 
torrent flood. At length Ascanius and the youth, now 
needlessly besieged, burst from the camp. 

Meantime Jupiter unasked addresses Juno : O sister 
mine and dearest consort too, Venus, as you suppose, — nor 
are you wrong, — supports the Trojan cause : the men them- 
selves have neither dashing pluck for war, nor spirits bold 
all danger to incur. Then Juno, all submission, says : O 
darling spouse, why worry me when ill at ease, and dread- 
ing your sarcastic words ? If now I had your fervent love, 
which once I had, and ought to have, your power omni- 
potent would not refuse me this, that I might Turnus from 
the fight withdraw, and safe restore him to his father 
Daunus. Now let him die, and with his pious blood glut 
Trojan vengeance. Yet from our stock he draws his name, 
and Pilumnus is his father in the fourth degree ; and with 
a liberal hand and many gifts he oft has piled your altars. 
To whom the king of high Olympus thus replies : If respite 
from impending death you ask, and for the short-lived youth 
a breathing-time before he dies, and if you understand that 
thus I put it, so far as this I may indulge you. But if 
beneath these prayers of yours there lurks some farther 
favour, and if you think the war can all be moved and 
changed, an empty hope you cherish. Then Juno, thus, in 

591-662] THE AENEID. 42/ 

tears : What if you would grant in mind that which you fail 
to promise, and if this life I beg to Turnus were confirmed. 
As it is, a woful end awaits the harmless youth, or I am far 
deceived. But would that rather by false fear I'm mocked, 
and that you, who can, may for the better change your plans. 

This said, she forthwith plunged from lofty heaven, 
shrouded in a cloud, and by a storm attended, and 
sought the Trojan army and Laurentine camp. Then 
in the hollow cloud the goddess makes an airy and 
a phantom form in likeness of ^neas — a strange and won- 
drous sight — and fits it out with Trojan arms, and imitates 
the shield and crested helmet of his head divine; she 
gives unmeaning words, and sound without significance, 
and counterfeits his gait : such was it as the forms that flit 
about when death has passed on men, or as those dreams 
which mock the slumbering senses. But before the van the 
image stalks exulting, and the hero with its darts provokes, 
and chides him with its words. It Turnus presses hard, 
and at distance hurls a hissing spear ; the phantom wheels 
and flies away; and then, when Turnus deemed the Trojan 
was in flight, and in his crowding thoughts conceived an 
empty hope, he cries aloud : Where fly you, son of Venus ? 
Abandon not your plighted nuptials : the land you sought 
for o'er the waves this hand shall give. Shouting thus, he 
follows, and waves his naked sword ; nor sees he that the 
winds arc bearing off his hopes of triumph. 

As it chanced, close to the margin of a lofty rock a ship 
was moored, with ladders out and gangway ready, in which 
Osinius was brought from Clusian shores. Into its hold the 
image of ^2neas plunged ; and Turnus with no less speed 
pursues, all obstacles surmounts, and clears at a bound the 
lofty bridges. Scarce had he reached the prow when Juno 
snaps the cable, and sweeps the ship over the tumbling 
waves. But him far off ^neas for the combat seeks ; 
and to the Shades below sends many valiant heroes. No 

428 THE AENEID. [Book x. 

longer then the airy image courts concealment, but soaring 
aloft blends with the dusky cloud, while now the blast 
wafts Turnus in mid-sea. Ignorant of the truth and thank- 
less for his safety, he looks around, and to heaven raises 
voice and hands : Almighty Father, did you deem me 
worthy of a charge like this ? And did you wish me to be 
punished so ? Where am I borne ? whence have I come ? 
\Vhat shameful flight abstracts me, what a coward brings 
me back ? On Laurentum's camp or walls how can I ever 
look again ? "Wliat of that trusty band who me and my arms 
have followed? And all of whom— oh, shame! — I left to 
death unutterable, whom now I see in scattered flight, and 
hear their dying groans ? "\\'hat am I about ? or what yawn- 
ing chasm will take me to its depths ? But rather you, O 
winds, have pity on me : drive my ship on cliffs, on rocks — 
I, Turnus, eagerly implore you — and hurl me on the shallows 
of the merciless Syrtes, where neither Rumour nor the 
Rutulians conscious of my shame can find me. Thus speak- 
ing, he wavers in his mind, and now to this and now to 
that inclines; whether to throw himself upon his sword 
for such disgrace, and right through his ribs drive home 
the cruel steel ; or cast himself amid the waves, and swim 
to shore, and return to meet again the Trojan arms. Each 
way he thrice attempted ; thrice powerful Juno withheld 
him, and pitying him ^ in her heart, checked his efforts. 
With favouring wind and current he scuds along the deep, 
and to his father's ancient city is safely borne down. 

Then, prompted from on high, the bold Mezentius takes 
his place, and assails the Trojans, flushed with their success. 
The Tuscan lines against him rush — a host to meet one man 
— and in all their bitter hate they press him hard with sword 
and lance. Like ocean rock he stands, which to furious wind 
and stormy deep exposed, all violence and threats of sky 
and sea endures, itself unmoved. Hebrus, Dolichaon's son, 
he fells to earth, and Latagus, and Palmus as he fled, but 
^ Or, " pitying his feelings." 


663-733] THE AENEID. 429 

Latagus he caught right on the mouth and face with a huge 
stone, a mountain's part, while Palmus, hamstrung and im- 
potent, he left to lie, and to Lausus gives to wear his arms 
and don his waving crest. The Phrygian Euanthes, too, he 
slays, and Mimas, coeval friend of Paris, whom Theano bore 
to Amycus the night that Hecuba, with firebrand pregnant, 
gave birth to Paris : he lies buried in his native land : 
Mimas unknown Laurentine soil contains. As when a 
boar, driven from the lofty hills by baying dogs — which 
pine-clad ^"esulus ^ had sheltered many a year, and many 
the Laurentine fens, feeding on the reedy sedge — when 
midst the toils he comes, stops short, and fiercely roars and 
bristles up his shoulders ; none so bold as show his wrath or 
nearer come, but at safe distance they ply him with darts 
and shouts : just so, of those who at Mezentius justly are 
enraged, none dares to meet him with the naked sword ; 
they gall him at distance with missiles, and with shouting 
loud. He (the boar), undismayed, turns doubtingly to 
every side, gnashing his teeth, and from his body shakes 
the spears. From fields of ancient Corythus had Acron 
come, a Greek by race, leaving in haste his nuptials incom- 
plete. And when he saw him at distance dashing through the 
ranks, gaily arrayed with plumes, and purple robe made by 
his bride : as oft a famished lion ranging o'er the glades — for 
maddening hunger prompts — if he chance to see a timorous 
goat or deer with stately horns, gapes wide with fond delight 
and rears his mane, and dwelling on the feast clings to the 
carcase ; foul gore besmears his ravenous mouth : — with such 
a keenness rushed Mezentius on the crowding foe. Luck- 
less Acron is laid low, and as he dies, the black earth by 
his heels is spurned, and the weapon broken in the wound 
is steeped in blood. Orodes, with his back exposed, he 
does not deign to slay, nor give a hidden wound with darted 

^ Vesulus (Viso), a large mountain in the range of the Alps, between 
Liguria and Gaul, where the Po takes its rise. 

430 THE AENEID. [Book x. 

spear : he confronts and fights him face to face, and conquers 
him not by base stealth, but by his stubborn steel. Then 
firmly treading on the fallen foe, and struggling with his 
lance, he said : Orodes in his stately height lies there, my 
mates, no mean factor in the work of war. His comrades, 
in response, sing loud a joyful p^ean. But he, with dying 
breath, replies : Whoe'er you are, o'er me unvenged you 
shall not long rejoice : you too an equal fate awaits ; on this 
same ground you soon shall lie. To whom, with smiles and 
anger mixed, Mezentius said : Now die. But me the 
father of the gods and king of men will look to. So said 
he, and from the body dragged the spear. A rest unbroken 
and an iron sleep oppress his eyes ; his light is quenched in 
everlasting gloom. 

Casdicus kills Alcathous, Sacrator Hydaspes, Rapo 
Parthenius, and Orses of surpassing strength ; Clonius, and 
Erichsetes, son of Lycaon, Messapus slays- — the one as on 
the ground he lay, thrown by his restive horse, the other, 
man on foot 'gainst man. Lycian Agis had to the front 
gone forth ; but A^alerus, of aiicestral might, hurled him to 
earth ; Thronius is by Salius slain, and Salius by Nealces 
famed for his javelin and his unnoticed arrow shot from far. 

Now Mars with heavy hand dealt war and death to each 
in equal measure : victors and vanquished slew alike, and like 
too did they fall : nor these nor those knew how to fly. In 
courts of Jove the gods behold with pitying look the needless 
rage of both, and grieve that men are doomed to toils like 
these; on one side Venus views the fight, on the other Juno. 
Midst thousands pale Tisiphone lets loose her fiendish rage. 

But now with noisy bluster Mezentius takes the field, 
and shows his ponderous spear; huge as Orion, when he 
stalks on foot through greatest depths of Ocean, cleaving 
his way, and by his shoulders overtops the waves, or when 
from mountain heights he bears an aged ash, and walking 
on the earth conceals his head in clouds ; so vast in size, 

734-S02] THE AENEID, 4^1 

with armour vast, Mezentius strides along. But when 
^neas saw him at distance in the Hne, he hastes to meet 
him. Undismayed he stays, waiting his noble foe, and by 
his very bulk stands firm as a rock ; and, measuring with 
his eye a lance's throw, he says : Let my sole god, my own 
right hand, and the weapon which I poise to throw, befriend 
me now. I vow that you, O Lausus, clothed in this pirate's 
spoils, shall be my trophy-block. He said, and hurled from 
far his hissing spear : but it in flight glanced from the 
shield, and between the side and groin it pierces great 
Antores — Antores, friend of Alcides, who coming from 
Argos had to Evander clung, and settled in his Italian 
town. By a wound not meant for him he falls in death, 
and to the sky looks up, and with his dying thought 
remembers Argos. And then his spear yEneas hurls : 
through the concave orb of triple brass, and through the 
linen folds it passed, and through the fabric made of three 
ox hides, and deep in the groin was fixed ; but there it 
spent its strength, ^neas, joyed to see the Tuscan's 
blood, drew quickly from his side his gleaming sword, 
and in the flush of hope rushed at his trembling foe. 
Lausus saw, and in his filial love he deeply groaned, and 
bitter tears coursed freely down his cheeks. And here I will 
relate your piteous death and gallant deeds, O noble 
youth, if to an act so brave far distant time can credit 
lend. Mezentius, powerless and j)inioned by the spear, 
retreated, and giving ground in his shield he dragged his 
foeman's lance. The youth sprang forward and mingled 
in the fight ; and now, as ylCneas rose and dealt the blow, 
he came beneath the blade, and, by retarding it, sustained 
the shock. His comrades with loud shouts his efforts back, 
until the father, sheltered by his son, might safe retire ; 
darts too they throw, and from a distance strive to beat 
away the foe. ^neas with vexation burns, but under 
cover waits. As at times, when showers descend with 

432 THE AENEID. [Book 


pelting hail, each hind and rustic swain flies from the open 
field, and in a safe retreat the traveller lurks, on river's bank 
or cleft of lofty rock, so long as on the earth the downfall 
pours, that when the sun returns they may employ the day : 
so, whelmed on all sides by the rain of darts, ^neas bears 
the cloud of war till all the thunders pass, and Lausus 
chides and threatens thus : AVhere rush you to your death, 
and strive for what's beyond your might ? Your filial love 
betrays you. No less defiant is the maddened youth : 
and now the Dardan leader's wrath was raised to fur)-, 
and the last threads of Lausus' life are gathered by the 
Fates, for his strong sword ^neas drives right through the 
youth and buries to the hilt. It pierced the fragile buckler 
of the daring boy, and rent the tunic which his mother wove 
with pliant thread of gold ; the blood his bosom filled, and 
then the soul passed mournful to the Shades and left the 
body. But when Anchises' son beheld the look and features 
of the dying youth, beyond expression pale, he groaned in 
deepest pity and held out his hand, and the picture of his 
filial love rose to his mind. Lamented youth, for merits such 
as yours what can the kind yEneas give worthy of such a soul ? 
The arms in which you gloried, keep : and to the Shades 
and ashes of your own I give you up, if that you care for. 
With this, unhappy youth, be comforted in death : 'twas by 
the hand of great yEneas that you fell. His fingering com- 
rades he moreover chides, and from the earth he lifts the 
corpse, which drenched with blood the locks in order dressed. 
Meantime Mezentius, by Tiber's stream, with water 
stanched his wounds, and rested, leaning on a tree. At 
hand upon a branch his brazen helmet hangs and on 
the sward his heavy armour lies. Around are chosen 
youths : he sick at heart, panting for breath, relieves his 
neck, and on his breast he spreads his flowing beard. 
Often he asks for Lausus, and sends and sends again to 
call him back, and bear the orders of his afflicted sire. 

803-874] THE AENEID. 433 

But with tears his friends were carrying on his shield the 
lifeless Lausus — a mighty corpse, by mighty wound o'er- 
come. Mezentius foreboding ill, the wail at distance knew. 
His hoary hair he soils with dust, and his clasped hands to 
heaven stretched, and fondly to the body clings. My son, 
was I so taken with the love of life that I could bear my 
own dear child to brave for me the foeman's steel? Am I 
preserved alive by these your wounds, while you are dead ? 
Ah! now to me remains the bitterness of death ;^ the wound 
indeed is driven deeply home ! I too, my son, by sins 
have stained your honoured name, driven from my tlirone 
and father's realms through hatred of my deeds. To my 
country and the outraged feelings of my people a penalty 
I owed ; my guilty life I should myself have given to 
thousand deaths ; and still I live, and do not leave my 
fellow-men and light of day. But leave I will. So saying, 
on his crippled thigh he raised himself, and though the 
wound exhausts his strength and checks his speed, fear- 
less for his horse he calls. That was his glory, that his 
comfort ; on him in all his wars he victor proved. Him, 
sorrowing too, he thus addresses : Long, Rhoebus, have 
we lived, if aught to mortals can be long. This day as 
victor you shall carry back .Eneas' head and bloody spoils, 
and avenge with me the griefs of Lausus ; or, if nought 
avails to win success, we perish side by side : for, O my 
gallant steed, you could not brook another's rein, or bear 
a Trojan lord. He spoke, and mounting on his back he 
took the seat he knew so well, and both his hands with 
lances charged, — a gleaming helmet on his head, with crest 
of hair adorned. Thus rapidly he galloped to the midst. In 
that one heart there burns a sense of shame, mad rage with 
grief combined, love by the Furies to distraction driven, and 
inward sense of manly worth. Thrice on yEneas with loud 
voice he called. ALnea.s knew him well, and prays with fierce 
^ Death, exitiuin : another reading is exiliiiin, exile. 

2 E 

434 THE AENEID. [Book x. 

delight : So bring to pass, Almighty Jove, and so, thou 
great Apollo, that in the fight you venture to engage. This 
said, with threatening spear he goes against the foe. But 
he : Most barbarous of men, why try to frighten me, my 
son being slain ? That was the only way by which to work 
my ruin. Nor death I fear, nor spare I any god. Have 
done : I come to die, but first I offer you these gifts. He 
spoke, and hurled his weapon at the foe. Then, as he 
circles round in rapid flight, another and another still he 
darts : the golden' boss withstands them all. Thrice round 
^neas as he stood in circles to the left he rode, and spear 
on spear with might he threw : thrice with him turned the 
Trojan chief, and in his brazen shield he bears around a grove 
of spears. Then, wearied by so long delays, and tired of 
plucking out the darts, much harassed by the unequal fight, 
he ponders various plans : at length he springs aside, and 
between the temples of the war-horse plants his spear. He 
rears, and with his feet lashes the empty air ; the rider is 
thrown and by the horse entangled as he fell, which 
plunging headlong, with disjointed shoulder lies upon him. 
With shouts the Trojans and the Latins rend the air. 
^neas rushes forward, and from the scabbard draws his 
sword, and over him thus speaks : Where is the fierce 
Mezentius now, and where that savage mind ? The Tuscan, 
when looking up he breathed the air and sense regained, 
replied : O bitter enemy, why chide me thus and threaten 
death ? To shed my blood's no crime, nor on such terms 
to battle did I come ; nor did my Lausus make with you 
a covenant like that. This one request I pray, if grace 
is ever shown to conquered foe : permit my body in the 
ground to lie. ]\Iy subjects' bitter hatred I incur : save 
me, I pray you, from their fury's rage, and grant a tomb 
where I may join my boy. So speaks he, and in his throat 
receives the expected sword, and with streams of blood 
pours out his life upon his arms. 


In the Eleventh Book the funeral of Pallas is solemnised. Latinus in 
a meeting of council attempts a reconciliation with i^ncas, but it is 
prevented by Turnus, and by the hostile approach of the Trojan army. 
Camilla greatly signalises herself, and is at last slain. 

Meanwhile Aurora left her ocean bed. ^neas, though 
eager to give instant heed to burial of the dead, and much 
distressed in mind by Pallas' death, yet paid to the gods at 
early dawn a victor's vows.^ A large-sized oak, with branches 
all lopped off, he raises on a mound, and decks with glittering 
arms, the spoils of Prince Mezentius : to you, O mighty 
Mars, a trophy justly due; to the stock he fits the crest 
dripping with gore, the broken darts and corslet in twelve 
places pierced ; on his left he binds his brazen shield, and 
hangs on his neck his sword with ivory hilt. And then his 
partners in the fight, for all the leaders crowded round in 
triumph, he thus addresses : Comrades, the greatest part 
has now been done ; dismiss your fears for what remains ; 
these are the spoils and first-fruits of the war, taken from the 
haughty king, and here is a Mezentius made by my hands. 
And now our road lies to the king and to the Latin walls. 
In hearty spirits arms prepare, and in hope anticipate the 
war, that no delay retard you, off your guard, soon as the 
gods allow to pluck the standard, and lead the youth from 

^ Servius remarks that those who were polluted by a funeral 
could not make offerings to the gods until they had been purified. 
If, however, as in the present case, a man was bound to the per- 
formance of both duties, he first made his offering, and then engaged 
in the funeral rites. 

436 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

camp, or lest your purpose dulled by fear should keep you 
back. Meantime let us commit to earth our friends' unburied 
bodies ; sole honour known in Acheron. Go, says he, and 
with last sad rites honour those noble souls which by their 
blood for us have gained a fatherland ; and first to the weep- 
ing city of Evander be Pallas sent, whom, brave as he was, 
a black day carried off and plunged in bitter death. 

So speaks he, weeping at the thought, and to the tent 
returns where lay the body of the lifeless Pallas, watched by 
Acoetes, who once in war Evander's armour bore, but now 
he came with less kind fates as guardian to his much-loved 
ward. Bands of servants were around, and Trojan matrons, 
with their hair dishevelled, as is wont. And when ^neas 
entered they raise loud moaning to the stars, and beat their 
breasts — the royal tent resounds with piteous wails. But 
when he saw the pillowed head and face of Pallas ghastly 
white, and in his marble breast the gaping w^ound made by 
Ausonian spear, with gushing tears he speaks as follows : 
Lamented youth, when Fortune came with smiles, how 
envious to snatch you from me, that you may not see 
my kingdom, nor go in triumph to your father's home ? 
Not such a promise did I give at parting to Evander when 
he sent me with embraces to my noble realm, and warned 
me, in his fears, of savage men to meet in hard contested 
fights. And he, perhaps buoyed up with empty hopes, 
makes vows, and altars loads with gifts; while to the life- 
less youth, who now to heaven owes nought, we pay in sad- 
ness unavailing dues. Ill-fated, you shall see the funeral of 
your only son ! And this is our return, these our expected 
triumphs ? Is this the great faith you placed in me ? 
But, Evander, you shall not behold him slain by wounds of 
shame, nor shall you pray for death, with saved but coward 
son. Ah me, what a guardian you have lost, Ausonia, and 
liilus, what a kind protector, you ! 

When he had thus bewailed, he bade them lift the body 


21-96] THE AENEID. 437 

-^a piteous sight — and he sends a thousand chosen men 
from all his host to pay the last respects, and with his 
father's tears to mix their own ; small comfort for a mighty 
grief, but due the wretched parent. With eager care some 
wrapt the hurdles and the pliant bier with arbute rods and 
oaken twigs, and with a screen of boughs they shade the 
high-piled couch. Aloft on rustic litter they place the 
youth : as flower plucked by maiden's hand, either of soft 
violet or drooping hyacinth, whose brightness has not left 
it, nor yet its form ; mother earth nor feeds it now, nor 
strength supplies. Two coverlets, with broidery of gold and 
purple stiff, JEneas carried forth, which Sidonian Dido, 
delighting in her task, herself had made for him, and with 
a thread of gold the warp had parted. In one of these, 
his last and latest ornament, he shrouds the youth, and 
covers with a veil the locks soon to be burned. Many 
trophies of the fight he piles besides, and bids them lead 
the spoil in long array. Horses and spears he adds of 
which he spoiled the foe. He bound behind their backs 
the hands of those whom to the Shades he sent as 
offerings, to sprinkle with their blood the altar- flames. 
The chiefs themselves he bids to carry stocks clothed 
with the focmen's arms, and to each to be attached the 
conquered name. Luckless Acoetes, by age exhausted, is 
led along, with fists now buffeting his breasts, with nails 
his features tearing; and oft he throws himself to earth, 
and lies prostrate at full length. His chariot too they lead, 
dabbled with Latin blood. Then his war-horse .^thon, 
with his trappings laid aside, goes weeping, and bathes 
his face with swelling drops. Others his spear and helmet 
carry ; for Turnus, his victor, has the rest. Then a band of 
mourners comes, Trojans and Tuscans all, and Arcadians 
with arms reversed. When all the line of followers had 
advanced a space, .i^^neas stopped, and with deep-drawn sigh 
thus added : To other scenes of woe these horrid fates of 

438 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

war invite me : farewell for ever, mighty Pallas, and once 
again a long farewell. Nor said he more, but made for 
the lofty walls, and to the camp went on. 

And now from the Latin town ambassadors had come 
with olive boughs, asking the favour that ^neas would 
restore the bodies scattered on the plain, and allow them 
burial, for with the vanquished and the dead war cannot 
be ; that he should spare a king once called his host and 
father. At once the good ^neas grants to their prayer 
the favour asked, and adds these words : What sad mis- 
chance, ye Latins, has entangled you in war, so that you 
shun us as your friends ? Is it for the dead you peace 
implore and for those slain by chance of battle? gladly 
would I grant it to the living too. I had not come but 
that the Fates had here assigned my settlement and home ; 
with your race I wage not war. Your king renounced our 
friendship, and trusted rather to the arms of Turnus. Better 
had it been that Turnus' self should risk the fate of battle. 
If he intends to close the war by force alone, and drive us 
hence, he should at least have met me in these arms. He 
would have lived to whom the Deity or his own right hand 
had given life. Now go and kindle for your friends the fun- 
eral fires, ^neas ceased to speak. They stood in silent 
wonder, and looking towards one another remained in steady 
gaze. Then aged Drances, 'gainst young Turnus ever prompt 
with hate and taunts, thus in turn replies : O Trojan prince, 
great in fame, but greater still in arms, what words of mine 
can laud you to the skies ? For justice shall I praise you 
more or for your toils in war ? These words of yours we to 
our citizens will gladly bear, and if any chance should give 
the means, unite you to our king Latinus. Let Turnus 
seek alliance for himself. It will give us joy to rear the 
fabric of your destined walls, and on our shoulders bear 
the stones of Troy. He spoke, and with one accord all 
murmured their applause. 

97-164] THE AENEID. 439 

At once they made a twelve days' truce ; and wliile this 
concord reigned, the Trojans and the Latins mix together 
in the woods without offence to either. The great ash 
crashes underneath the axe ; they fell the towering pines ; 
and cease not to cleave the fragrant cedar, and on groaning 
waggons drag the mountain-ash. 

Now Rumour, harbinger of grief, hastes to Evander in 
her rapid flight, and with her tale of woe she fills his city 
and his home, but lately gladdened with the news of 
Pallas, victor in the Latian war. The Arcadians rush to 
the gates, and by ancient custom seize the funeral torch. 
The path is lighted by a line of fire, that shows the fields 
afar. And then a crowd of Phrygians advance and join 
the wailing bands. And when the women saw them coming 
nigh, with shrieks they set the city all aflame. But Evander 
none can restrain : he comes into the midst. On the lowered 
bier he flings himself, and clings to his son with tears and 
groans, and scarce through grief finds passage for his voice : 
Not this the promise to your father given to join with caution 
in the savage fight ! I knew too well what new-born fame 
in arms could do; what charm there is in earliest battlefield. 
Sad fruits of early valour and hard probation in a war so 
near.i Ah, vows and prayers unheard by any god ! and 
you, O sainted spouse, happy in your death and not reserved 
for such a sorrow ; while I, living, have outdone my fates— a 
father to survive his son ! ^ Me favouring the arms of Troy 
the Latin weapons should have slain : this life I should have 
given, and this procession should have brought — not Pallas, 
but his father. You, Trojans, I would not accuse, nor 

' rropinqni — near. Evander seems to mean that had the war been 
a distant one lie would not have allowed his son logo. Some interpret 
the word as meaning "early," which seems very forced, coming, too, 
after the phrase "sad fruits of early valour." 

- Literally, surviving [my own son]. This was thought a severe and 
unnatural misfortune. 

440 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

league, nor right hand joined in friendship : that lot was 
destined for my sad old age ! But if untimely death for 
Pallas was decreed, 'tis comfort that he fell, with many 
Volscians slain, when leading Troy to Latium. And, O 
my Pallas, no funeral pomp would I bestow but that which 
^neas, Prince of Troy, and the Tuscan leaders with their 
hosts have given. Great trophies do they bring, which your 
right hand has dealt to death ; and Turnus you would 
now be there, your huge trunk clad in arms, if you had 
been of equal age and equal strength from years. But why 
do I, in sorrow, keep the Trojans from the war ? Go, and 
forget not to repeat this message to your king : That I 
protract this hated life, with Pallas dead, is that to father and 
to son your good right hand owes Turnus slain. This is your 
only kindness left undone me, and the only barrier to your 
fortune. The joys of life I seek not, nor is it right I should, 
but to my son to bear the tidings in the Shades below. 

Meantime the morn to men had shown her bounteous 
light, renewing the works and labours of the day ; now 
father .^neas and now Tarchon on the winding shore have 
raised the funeral pyres. To them they bore the bodies of 
their dead, each in his country's mode ; and clouds of 
black and woful smoke wrap heaven high in darkest gloom. 
Three times around the kindled piles they marched, in 
glittering armour clad; and thrice the mournful blaze did 
horsemen compass with their loud and piteous wails. With 
tears the earth is wet, with tears their arms bedewed. The 
shrieks of men and clang of brazen horns reach to the very 
sky. Then in the fire they throw the spoils from slaughtered 
Latins reft — helmets and precious swords, bridles and wheels 
that glow : some offer well-known gifts, the heroes' shields 
and arms that failed to save. To Orcus many bulls they 
slay and bristly swine, and o'er the flames they slaughter 
sheep seized in the fields around. Then all along the shore 
they view their burning friends and watch the smouldering 


165-233] THE AENEID. 441 

piles, nor tear themselves away till dewy night inverts the 
sky, spangled with shining stars. 

^Vith no less zeal the Latins otherwhere have raised their 
many pyres in heartless woe ; and of the slain they bury 
some, some they send to distant homes, and others to the 
city bring : the rest, an undistinguished mass of carnage, 
they burn, uncounted and unknown : on all sides then the 
spacious plains shine bright with rival glare. When the 
third morn had moved from heaven the chilling shade, the 
mourners swept into a heap the ashes and the bones all 
mingled on the hearths ! ^ and covered them with mound 
of heated clay. But in the houses in the city of Latinus 
with his horded wealth, there is the loudest tumult and 
the deepest woe. Here are seen wretched mothers, hapless 
brides, and tender hearts of mourning sisters, and striplings 
of their sires bereft. All curse the horrid war and nuptial 
bonds of Turnus; they ask that he himself by arms the 
quarrel should decide, since 'tis for himself he claims the 
kingdom and the highest place. Drances to this lends 
spiteful weight, and calls to mind that he alone is challenged, 
he alone is called to fight. On the other side the voice of 
many, variously expressed, is given for Turnus : the influ- 
ence of Amata's name screens his faults, and his own great 
fame for trophies won. 

Midst this commotion, with its heated brawl, the depu- 
ties from Diomede return in sorrow, and his answer give : 
they say that nothing had been gained by all their toil; 
that gifts, and gold, and prayers had nought availed ; that 
they must seek for other arms, or sue the Trojan king for 
peace. With grief intense is king Latinus felled. The anger 
of the gods and fresh-made graves proclaim that ^neas 
comes by heaven's undoubted sanction. Then a great 

^ " .Swept together" — rucbaiit al/ia/t, i.f. gathered in a high mound : 
ritcbant may also mean "tumbled down" the high heaps of ashes and 
bones on the hearths, i.e. the sites on which the pyre had stood. 

442 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

council of his foremost peers he calls within his stately 
mansion. They came, and to the palace flock, and crowd 
the streets. Foremost in power, as in age, Latinus with 
uneasy brow sits in the midst. And upon this he bids the 
ambassadors, newly come from the ^tolian city, to relate 
what news they bring, and asks them for the king's reply in 
due and full detail. Then tongues were hushed in silence, 
and Venulus, complying with the wish, thus speaks : 

Fellow-citizens, Diomede and the Argive settlement we 
saw, and on our way surmounted every danger, and we 
touched the hand by which the land of Ilium fell. Success- 
ful in war he built in the land of Apulian Garganus ^ the 
city of Argyripa,- called from his country's name. Admitted, 
and allowed to plead before him, we offer gifts ; our name 
and country tell ; who waged the war, and why we came to 
Arpi. He heard our tale, and thus in words composed he 
made reply : O blessed nations, O Saturnian realms, Ausonia's 
ancient people, what evil fortune stirs your peaceful state, 
and urges you to risk a strife you know not ? All we who 
with the sword did injury to Trojan soil — let pass the cup 
of misery we drained in fighting by the walls of Troy, the 
countless heroes which their Simois hides — unutterable 
penalties have paid o'er all the earth, atonement for our 
crimes, a hapless band whom even Priam's self would pity : 
Minerva's baneful star knows this full well, Euboean rocks, 
and vengeful shores of Caphereus.^ The war being ended, 
we w^ere driven on different coasts : Menelaus wanders in 
exile far as Proteus''^ pillars, and Ulysses the dread ^tnsan 

^ Garganus (St Angelo), a lofty mountain of Apulia, projecting in 
the form of a promontory into the Adriatic Sea. 

^ Argyripa, or Arpi. 

2 Caphereus, or Caphareus (Cape D'Oro), a lofty promontory on the 
south-east coast of Euboea. 

■* Proteus, a king of Egypt, on whose coasts Menelaus, in his return 
from the Trojan war, was forced by stress of weather. 

234-287] THE AENEID. 443 

Cyclops saw. Why speak of Pyrrhus' realms, of Idomeneus 
and his ruined home? Of the Locrians dwelling on the 
Libyan shore? Mycenje's^ chief himself, who led the 
Grecian hosts, by his accursed wife was slain on entering 
his house : an adulterer waylaid the spoils of conquered 
Asia.2 As for me, to think the gods would grudge that 
I should to my land return, and see again my longed for 
wife, and fairest Calydon ! Even now dread portents haunt 
me : and my companions, in form of birds, seek upper air 
on wings and stray by rivers' banks — ah, dreadful punish- 
ment my comrades suffered ! — and fill the rocks with piteous 
cries.^ Nought else could I expect when, madman, I assailed 
the heavenly gods, and outraged with a wound fair Venus' 
hand. Urge me not, nay, urge me not to such a strife ; nor, 
now that Troy has fallen, have I a quarrel with the Trojans. 
I remember not nor take I pleasure in their former ills. 
The gifts which from your home you bring hand over to 
^neas. We've stood opposed in combat fierce, and hand 
to hand engaged ; trust me who know, wath what a power 
he rises to his shield, with w4iat a whirlwind does he hurl 
his lance. If Ida's land had borne two warriors besides of 
equal might, the Dardans to Inachian Argos would have 
come, and Greece would now lament the fates reversed. 

1 Prince of Mycence, Agamemnon. After Ihe destruction of Troy, 
Agamemnon returned to Argos, where he was murdered by his wife 
Clytaemnestra and her paramour ^Egisthus. 

- The phrase devictani Asiani stibsedit adulter has given rise to much 
discussion. The rendering given above seems the most rational. Some 
would translate " lay in wait for the conqueror' of Asia," an idea which 
is included in the other, as Agamemnon must be killed before /Egisthus 
and Clytaemnestra could enjoy the spoil he brought from Troy. Another 
version is, "Asia being conquered, another enemy remained to be fought," 
viz. /Egisthus. 

^ Off the coast of Apulia there were in the Adriatic three islands, 
called Insithe Dioinedac, on which the companions of Diomede were 
said to have been transformed into birds. 



"Whate'er delay we met around the walls of stubborn Troy 
was due to Hector's and Eneas' hands, and ten long years 
was victory deferred. For valour both, for noble feats of 
arms renov/ned ; ^^neas first in piety. Let your hands be 
joined in binding league by any means you can ; but see you 
meet not in the battle's shock. Then, best of Kings, you've 
heard his answer, and what his view is of our heavy war. 

Scarce had they finished when murmurs confused through 
all the council ran ; as when rocks retard a torrent flood 
the pent-up waters in the swirling eddy roar, and with the 
beating waves the neighbouring banks resound. Soon as 
their minds were calmed and the buzz of tongues was 
hushed, the king, invoking first the gods, begins as follows 
from his lofty throne : For my part, O ye Latins, I could 
wish that we had earlier taken measures for the common 
weal, and better had we done so ; and not have called a council 
at a time like this when the enemy besets our walls. Fellow- 
citizens, we wage ill-omened war against a race of gods, 'gainst 
men invincible, whom battles can't exhaust, nor, when con- 
quered, can they drop the sword. If you had any hope in 
^tolia's allied armiS, dismiss it now. The hope of each is 
in himself: how small that is, you see. In what utter ruin 
is our common weal all see and know. But yet I none 
accuse : what highest valour could have been, has been ; 
the contest has been carried on by all the kingdom's power. 
Now then, what is the opinion of my wavering mind I will 
explain in brief, and — pray take heed — will tell you all. 
There belongs to me by ancient right a piece of land close 
to the Tuscan stream, extending westward, even beyond the 
limits of the Sicanians : ^ the Aurunci and the Rutulians till 

^ Sicania, an ancient name of Sicily, which it received from the 
Sicani, a people of Spain, who first passed into Italy, and afterwards 
into Sicily, where they established themselves. At one time some 
Sicani settled in Latium (see Book vii. 795). It is to these that this 
passage has reference. 

288-354] THE AENEID. 445 

it, and work with the plough the stubborn hills, and the 
rugged parts for grazing use. Let all this district, with its 
lofty ridge and pines, be given to Trojan friendship ; and 
let us join in peace on equal terms, and invite them to be 
sharers of our realms ; let them settle down, if they so 
desire, and found their cities. But if they have a mind to 
make for other lands and other tribes, and can from our 
soil withdraw, let us build for them of Italy's best oak, say, 
twenty ships or more, if they have men to fill them : the 
timber lies along the river's bank : let them prescribe the 
number and the size of ships ; let us supply the brass, 
the workmen, and the naval fittings. Besides, to bear my 
message and confirm a league, my wish is that a hundred 
Latins of the highest rank should go as deputies, and in 
their hands extend the boughs of peace, and carry with them 
weight of gold and ivory, a curule chair and purple robe, 
the emblems of our sovereign rule. Take counsel for the 
common good and aid the labouring State. 

Then Drances, spiteful Drances still, — whom Turnus' 
glory stirred with jealous envy and malignant stings, in 
wealth abounding, and still more in tongue, but lacking 
fire in war, no mean authority in counsels, powerful in 
factions ; his mother's rank gave him high birth, his father's 
lineage was obscure, — rises up, piles taunt on taunt, and 
passion whets : Good king, you ask advice in matters 
known to all, and needing not my word ; what the nation's 
weal requires all men confess they know, but fear to speak. 
Let him give liberty of speech, and curb his haughty will, 
from whose ill-starred guidance and perversity — I'll say it, 
though he threaten me with a death of violence — we see so 
many brilliant leaders fallen, and the whole city sunk in 
grief, while he attacks the Trojan camp, trusting to flight, 
and heaven with his arms defies. And to the many gifts 
which you desire to offer to the Trojan chief, this one, 
O best of kings, in addition send ; and let not the vehemence 

446 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

of any prevent you, as a father, from giving your child 
in worthy wedlock to a noble son, and from cementing 
friendship by a lasting league. But if so great terror 
hold our hearts and minds, let us implore him, and 
from himself the favour ask : let him give way, and to 
his king and country restore their proper right. Why so 
oft expose your citizens to open dangers, O source and 
cause to Latium of all these ills ? In war there's no relief : 
for peace all beg you, Turnus, and the sole inviolable pledge 
of peace. I come as chiefest suppliant — I, whom you think 
your enemy, and if you do I care not : have pity on your 
countrymen, quell your proud spirit, and, a worsted man, 
retire. Enough of deaths we saw in our defeat, and many 
fields have left deserted. If you regard your fame, if so 
much spirit in your heart remains, and if a dower-palace is 
your wish, be bold and front your rival, breast to breast. 
That a royal spouse may fall to Turnus, are we, forsooth, all 
worthless souls, nought but a rabble, on battle-plain to lie, 
unburied and unwept? Aye you, if in your veins there's 
native might, if of your country's martial fire one 
spark is left, go look in the face the foe who gives you 

Fired by such taunts Turnus burst forth in fury. He 
groans for rage, and from his deepest soul screamed forth 
these words : Drances, you ever have in store a large supply 
of words just at the time when battle claims not tongues but 
swords ; and when the fathers are convened, you are the fore- 
most there. But it is not a time to fill the senate-house with 
words which, big and braggart, you safely fling in volleys, 
while the ramparts keep the enemy at bay, and the trenches 
do not flow with blood. So thunder on in noisy talk, your 
usual way, and charge me with the coward's part, since your 
right hand has piled so many heaps of Trojan slain, and 
decked the fields on every side with trophies. What dashing 
valour can, you are at liberty to try; not far, in sooth, are 

355-420] THE AENEID. 447 

enemies to seek ; on all sides they surround our walls. Are 
we going, then, to meet them ? Why do you demur ? With 
you shall prowess always lie in wind-bag tongue and nimble 
feet ? I worsted ! Can any one with truth, foul miscreant, 
declare me worsted, who has seen the Tiber rise in swells 
with Trojan blood, and all Evander's race laid low, both 
root and branch, and warriors of Arcadia of their armour 
stripped? Not such did Bitias and Pandarus find me, and 
those whom by the thousand I sent down to Orcus, shut 
though I was within their walls and hemmed by hostile 
mound. " In war there's no relief " you say. Go preach, 
you fool, such doctrines to your Dardan head, and your 
own failing cause. Cease not, then, to spread confusion 
and alarm, to extol the valour of a race twice beaten, and 
to decry the arms of king Latinus. Now even the chiefs 
of the Myrmidons recoil in dread from Trojan arms, now 
Tydides too and Achilles of Larissa; and the mighty Aufidus^ 
flies back dismayed from Adria's waves. Or hear him, cun- 
ning designer, when he says that he's in terror of my threats, 
and in guise of fear embitters charges. Never shall you lose 
a life like yours by my right hand — be not afraid : let it 
remain with you, and ever in that breast repose. 

And now to you I turn, Latinus, and to your great con- 
cerns. If in our arms no further hope you place, if we are 
left so desolate and by our defeat are utterly undone, 
nor Fortune can her steps retrace, peace let us beg, and hold 
forth suppliant hands. But, oh, if something of our wonted 
valour should remain, him would I think most blest of all 
indeed,"and noble in his mind, who ere such stain he saw fell 
down in death, and once for all in dying bit the ground. But if 
we still have means, and youths as yet in war unharmed; if on 
our side cities and tribes of Italy remain ; and if the Trojans 

^ Aufidus (Ofanto), a river of Apulia, falling into the Adriatic. The 
battle of Cann.\; was fought on the banks of the Aufidus. 

44S THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

gain success with great disaster, — they have their deaths, and 
over all the storm of war has raged, — why fail we with dis- 
honour on the threshold? why, before the trumpet blows, 
does terror seize our limbs ? Many things has time, and the 
changing toils of chequered life, brought to a better state : 
many men has Fortune in returning visits mocked, or on a 
solid basis placed. Though the ^tolian prince and Arpi 
fail in help Messapus will befriend us, and Tolumnius ^ of 
happy omen, and all the chiefs who come from many tribes : 
and no small glory shall attend the champions of Latium and 
Laurentine realms. And there, too, is Camilla ^ of the noble 
Volscian race, bringing her troops of horse, and bands in 
glittering brass. But if to single fight the Trojans call me 
forth, and you are pleased with that, and if I so much with- 
stand the common good, success has not so fled my hands 
through hate as that for such a hope I should decline to 
try. Boldly will I meet him, even should he prove a great 
Achilles, and clothe himself in equal arms by Vulcan forged. 
To you and to I^atinus, the father of my bride, this life I have 
devoted ; I, Turnus, to none of ancient heroes in courage 
less. 'Tis I alone ^neas calls, and let him call, I pray : 
let not the forfeit be by Drances paid, if by wrath of 
heaven it comes, nor let him gain renown if it be the glorious 
reward of valour. 

Thus in the strife of words the crisis they discussed, 
while ^neas to the city moved his camp and his array. 
And lo ! through the palace halls there flies a hasty 
messenger, and with confusion and alarm the city fills : that 
from the Tiber's stream the Trojan and the Tuscan bands 
are marching down o'er all the plain, prepared for battle. 
Dismay possesses all, the people's minds are stunned, and 

^ Tolumnius, an augur in tlie army of Turnus against ALneas, who 
violated the league between the Rutulians and Trojans, and was after- 
wards slain. 

- Camilla, the virago female warrior. 

421-485] THE AENEID. 449 

passions roused by no small stings. In bustling haste 
they ask for arms, for arms the youth cry out ; the fathers 
weep in sorrow, and murmur doubts. On this a noisy 
clamour ascends to heaven from the rival shouts of men ; 
just as in a lofty grove when flocks of birds or in Padusa's^ 
fishy stream hoarse swans make clangour through the noisy 
pools. Nay citizens, says Turnus, seizing the moment, call 
an assembly, and seated there praise peace, while they in 
arms are rushing on the throne. Nor said he more, but 
hurried forth and quickly left the hall. Volusus, you bid 
the Volscian maniples to arms ; bring the Rutulians too, says 
he. You Messapus, and Coras - with your brother, over the 
plains extend the cavalry with arms equipped. Let some 
the approaches guard and man the towers ; the rest shall 
follow me wherever I command. At once from all the city 
to the walls they flock. The council — and his great designs — 
Latinus leaves, and, troubled by the untoward turn, he puts 
it off. And much he blames himself that he did not 
freely take ^neas and give him to the city as his son. 
Some dig trenches before the gates, or heave up stones and 
beams ; the hoarse trumpet sounds the bloody signal for the 
war. Then boys and women line the walls in motley ring : 
the final throe calls all. Moreover, to the temple of Minerva 
on the heights the queen ascends with train of matrons 
bearing gifts, and by her side goes young Lavinia, cause of 
so much woe, her beauteous eyes with seemly modesty down- 
cast. The matrons follow and with incense fume the temple, 
and from the lofty threshold pour their doleful prayers : O 
Lady of Tritonis, goddess of battle, arbiter of war, break in 
his hand the Phrygian pirate's spear, and lay him prostrate 
on the ground before our city's gates. 

^ Padusa, the most southern mouth ot the Po, from which there was 
a cut to the town of Ravenna. 

- Coras, a brother of Catillus and Tiburtus, who fought against 

2 F 

450 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

Turnus himself in eager ardour girds him for the fight ; 
now he puts on his brazen corslet, rough with scales, and 
had encased his legs in greaves, with head still bare, and 
to his side had bound his sword, and as he hasted 
from the citadel he shone like gold, and bounds with 
buoyant spirits, and even now anticipates the foe ; as when 
a courser from the stalls flies forth with halter snapped, and 
now at freedom has reached the open plain, for the pastures 
he makes straight, or for the herds of mares, or wont to bathe 
in a famihar pool darts forward, and tossing high his head 
he loudly neighs, rampant with delight, while his mane plays 
freely on his shoulders and his neck. Whom Camilla 
met, attended by her warlike troop of Volscians, and close 
to the gate the queen dismounted with a bound, and all the 
band, following her example, alighted from their steeds ; 
then thus she speaks : Turnus, if in themselves the brave 
may feel deserved confidence, I venture and engage to meet 
the Trojan horse, and with my force alone the cavalry of Tus- 
cany to face. Permit that myself should risk the war's first 
danger : you with the foot stay at the city and defend the 
walls. Then gazing on the terrible but lovely maid, Turnus 
replied : O maiden, glory of Italy, what words of thanks can 
I present, what gratitude repay ! but as it is, since your 
great soul surpasses meed of thanks, with me you'll share 
the toil. As rumour and the scouts bring trusty news, 
^neas, on mischief bent, has sent his light-armed horse to 
scour the plains, while he himself approaches the city o'er 
the desert heights. In the valley's sloping side a stratagem 
I lay, to block the thoroughfare with soldiery in arms. Do 
you receive the Tuscan horse and close in fight : with you 
shall be the bold Messapus, the Latin squadrons, and 
Tiburtus' bands ; the leader's charge yourself must take. 
He speaks, and in like words he spurs Messapus to the fight, 
and the confederate chiefs ; then hastes against the foe. 
There is a valley with a winding glen, suited for ambush 

486-557] THE AENEID. 45 1 

and the snares of war, which sloping ledges obscured by 
foliage confine on either side, whither a scanty footpath 
leads, and a narrow gorge with small approach. Above this 
pass, on the view-commanding heights and the very summit 
of the hill, there is a plateau, little known, and a place of 
safe retreat, whether you wish to meet the enemy on left or 
right, or to take position on the cliffs and roll down massy 
stones. Hither young Turnus goes by well-known path, 
and seized the place and lay in ambush in the dangerous 

Meantime, in the abodes of heaven, Diana addressed swift 
Opis, one of her virgin-train and sacred retinue, with 
words of sorrow : O nymph, Camilla, dear to me above her 
fellows, goes to this bloody war, with arms of ours in vain 
equipped. Nor is this a new affection which arises in Diana, 
and touches her soul with sudden fondness. When Metabus, 
expelled from his kingdom through his tyranny and his 
people's hate, was departing from Privernum, his former 
city, as he fled in the midst of battles, he carried with him 
his infant daughter as companion for his exile, and called 
her name Camilla, from her mother's, Casmilla, slightly 
changed. Bearing her in his bosom, he made for the dis- 
tant heights and lonely woods : merciless darts pressed him 
on all sides, and the Volscians with armed soldiers hovered 
round. Lo, as he fled, the swelling Amascnus foamed in 
flood over its highest banks, rain in such torrents had from 
the clouds burst forth. He was fain to swim, but a father's 
love withheld him, and fear for his precious charge. All 
plans devising, he quickly, but with doubt, resolved on this. 
The warrior, as it chanced, bore in his sturdy hand a heavy 
spear of seasoned oak, solid with knots ; to this he binds 
his child, well swathed in cork-tree bark, and to the middle 
of the shaft he ties her, " handy " for a throw ; then with his 
strong right hand he poised it and heaven thus addressed : 
Oh bounteous daughter of Latona, dv:eller in the woods, 

452 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

this child to you as handmaid I with a father's right devote : 
holding your weapons, as her first, through air she flies 
her enemies, seeking your aid. Receive her as your own, I 
pray, entrusted to the doubtful winds. He spoke, and with 
arm drawn back he cast the whirling spear; the waters 
roared ; over the rapid flood luckless Camilla on hissing 
javelin sped. But Metabus, the foe now pressing hard, 
plunged headlong in the stream, and, safely landed, plucks 
from the grassy turf the maiden and the spear, gifts to 
Diana. No houses took him to their roofs, no cities to their 
walls ; nor through his savage nature would he have brooked 
restraint, and so in the lone mountain woods he spent a shep- 
herd's life. And there amidst the brakes and prickly lairs of 
beasts he reared his child, and on the milk of mares his daughter 
fed, draining the teats into her tender lips. And when the 
infant with her footprints marked the ground, with pointed 
dart he armed her hands, and on her tiny shoulders hung a 
quiver and a bow. Instead of gold to tie her hair, instead 
of flowing robes, a tiger's spoils o'er back and limbs fall 
loosely from her head. Even then with baby hand she 
hurled her childish darts, and round her head with twisted 
cord she swept the rapid sling and brought to earth a snowy 
cygnet or Strymonian crane. Full many a matron through 
the Tuscan towns besought her for their sons. Contented 
with Diana's self, in spotless purity she cherishes the love of 
armour and of maidenhood. Would she had not been caught 
by love for such a war, and had not tried the Trojans 
to assail : dear had she been to me, and one of my 
favoured band. But come, since she is doomed to bitter 
fates, glide down from heaven, O nymph, and visit Latin 
bounds, where under evil omen the woful fight begins. 
Take these, and from the quiver draw an arrow of revenge : 
with it, whoever by a wound shall harm her sacred body, be 
he Trojan or Italian, let him pay to me the penalty of death. 
Then her body and her arms I in a hollow cloud will carry 

558-630] THE AENEID. 453 

to the tomb, and in her country lay her bones to rest. She 
spoke ; but Opis, in dark whirhvind wrapt, sped through the 
fleeting air with whizzing sound. 

Meanwhile the Trojan cavalry approach the walls, and the 
Tuscan leaders and all the horse in companies arranged. 
The prancing chargers neigh o'er all the plain, and struggle 
with the tightened rein, swerving to this side, now to that ; 
then an iron field bristles with spears afar, and the plains all 
dazzle with uplifted arms. Against these on the field appear 
Messapus and the nimble Latins, and Coras with his brother, 
and Camilla's horse, and with hands drawn back they couch 
their spears and shake their darts : more furious grow the 
march of men and neighing of their steeds. And now, 
within a javelin's throw, the hosts had stopped : then with a 
sudden shout forward they dash and cheer the horses eager 
for the charge : darts in showers fall thick as the flakes of 
snow, darkening the sky with shade. At once Tyrrhenus 
and the brave Aconteus, with lance in rest, together clash, and 
first of the field with sounding crash they fall, and the horses' 
chests are burst, dashed each on each. Aconteus shot from 
his seat like thunderbolt, or stone by engine cast, falls head- 
long far away, and shed his life in air. At once the lines 
are broken ; the routed Latins throw their bucklers on their 
backs and to the city fly. The Trojans pursue; and 
foremost of the chiefs Asilas leads his men. And now 
they neared the gates, and again the Latins raise a shout 
and wheel their horses round. The Trojans fly, and with 
loose reins are borne backward far; as when the sea, 
careering with alternate flow, now rushes to the land and 
dashes on the rocks its foaming waves, and with its bulging 
curve drenches the inmost verge of sand : now it backward 
flies in rapid course, and with it sucks the stones rolled by 
the boiling surf, and leaves the shore in lessening shallows. 
Twice the Tuscans drove to the walls the routed Latins ; 
twice repulsed, they throw their bucklers on their backs and 

454 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

keep the foe in view. A third time they engaged in fight, 
and then the lines were locked in deadly strife, and man 
chose out his man ; dying groans are heard, and arms and 
bodies and horses soon to die are mixed with slaughtered 
men ; then does a furious battle rise. Orsilochus, since 
Remulus himself he feared to face, hurled at his horse's 
head his lance, and left it lodged beneath his ear. Maddened 
by the blow, he reared and plunged, and impatient of the 
wound he tosses high his legs with upheaved chest. The 
rider, shot from his seat, lies grovelling on the ground. 
Catillus hurled to earth loUas, and Herminius great in self- 
confidence, and great in body as in arms ; on whose bare 
head were auburn locks, bare were his shoulders ; nor does 
he fear for wounds : such mark for weapons does he show. 
The javelin through his shoulders driven stands quivering, 
and piercing deep, his doubled body writhes with pain. 
Black gore is shed in streams all round : death with the 
sword they deal in fiendish rivalry, and seek by wounds an 
honourable end. 

But in the thickest of the fray, Camilla with her quiver 
armed, like Amazon bounds forth in joy, with one side bared 
for ease in fighting; and now she showers her darts, thick rain- 
ing spear on spear, now with unwearied power she wields her 
sturdy axe : on her shoulder sounds her golden bow and arrows 
of Diana. If ever to retreat enforced, turning her bow she 
shot her arrows as she fled. Around her stayed her special 
comrades, Larina,and Tulla,and Tarpeia with her brazen axe, 
Italians all, whom as a guard of honour to herself divine 
Camilla chose, attendants true in peace and war : like as 
when Thracian Amazons beat with their horses' tread Ther- 
modon's ^ banks, and war in painted armour, around Hippo- 
lyte^ their queen, or when Penthesilea in her car returns ; and 

^ Thermodon, a river of Ponlus, falling into the Euxine Sea. 
^ Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons, given in marriage to Theseus 
by Hercules, who had conquered her. 

631-69S] THE AENEID. 455 

with tumultuous shrieks the female troops with half-moon 
shields prance in exulting joy. Whom first, whom last did 
you, fierce maiden, bring to earth? how many heroes laid 
you low in death? First, Euneus, son of Clytius, whose 
l)reast unguarded with her pine-wood lance she piqrced. 
Emitting streams of gore he falls and bites the bloody ground, 
and dying, writhes in anguish on his wound. Liris and 
Pagasus besides : the one when thrown from his wounded 
horse he gathers up the reins, the other as he comes and 
to his falling friend holds out his spearless hand : headlong 
and together both drop dead. To these she adds Amastrus, 
son of Hippotas, and at distance plying with her darts she 
drives before her Tereus and Harpalycus, Demophoon and 
Chromis ; for every spear her maiden hand discharged, a 
Trojan hero fell. And not far hence the hunter Ornitus 
comes on in armour strange and on Apulian steed, 
whose shoulders broad a bullock's hide protects in battle, 
his head is covered by the yawning mouth of a huge wolf, 
and by the jaws with white and grinning teeth, his hand 
is armed with rustic spear : in midst of warriors he moves 
and by a head o'ertops them all. Him overtaken — nor was 
it hard to do, his troops dispersed — she spears, and over 
him thus speaks with foeman's heart : O Tuscan, did you 
think that in the woods you hunted game? The day is 
come which by a woman's arm confutes your nation's boasts. 
But to the Manes of your father this glory you shall bear 
that by Camilla's hand you died. Next Butes and Orsilochus, 
two giant warriors of Troy, she slays : Butes in the back she 
pins between the corslet and the helm ; where as on horse 
he sits his neck is seen, and where on his left the buckler 
hangs ; flying from Orsilochus and coursing round in circle 
wide, by wile she gains the inner ring and chases her pursuer : 
then rising to the stroke she drives her sturdy battle-axe 
through arms and bones, and as he begs and prays she stroke 
on stroke repeats : with his warm brains the gash besmears 

456 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

his face. The warrior son of Aunus, from Appenines come 
down, met her by chance, and starded by the sudden sight 
stopped short ; not last of the Ligurians while Fate permitted 
him to use his wiles. And when he sees that by no speed 
he can the fight evade, nor to another turn aside the queen 
who presses close, with prudent craft he tries to practise 
fraud, and thus begins : What great thing is it if, woman 
though you be, you on a trusty steed rely? dismiss your 
means of flight, and on the level ground venture to face me 
hand to hand, and begird you for a fight on foot : soon shall 
you find to whom such windy boasts will bring defeat. 
He spoke : but she, enraged and by vexation fired, to a 
comrade gives her horse and meets him in equal arms, on 
foot with sword alone, and undismayed, though new to 
battle.^ But to escape he hastes, deeming his ruse success- 
ful, and wheeling round betakes himself to flight, and with 
iron-shod heel he goads his horse put to his utmost speed. 
Empty Ligurian, for nought uplifted with conceited mind, 
in vain you've tried your native arts with slippery guile, 
nor will your cunning bring you safe to trickster Annus. So 
speaks the maiden, and with fiery speed outstrips the horse 
in flight ; then seized the reins and full confronts him, and 
takes her vengeance from his hated blood ; with equal ease 
the falcon, sacred bird, from on high o'ertakes a dove amid 
the clouds, and gripping fast with crooked talons, tears her 
limb from limb ; then blood and torn plumage from high 
heaven fall. 

But not with unobservant eyes does Father Jove sit up 
aloft on high Olympus. Pie rouses Tuscan Tarchon to the 
bloody fight, and with no mild stimulus incites his rage. 
And so, midst slaughter and retreating bands, Tarchon rides 
forth, and with varied words incites the horsemen, addressing 

^ Tlie literal translation is, "undismayed, though she had a shield 
without device : " that is, though she had never won armorial bearings 
by being in battle before. 

699-765] THE AENEID. 457 

all by name, and rallies them to battle. O you who never 
will feel shame, O Tuscans, faint of heart, what fear, 
what cowardice so base has seized your souls? Does a 
woman drive you here and there, and turn such ranks to 
flight ? What is the sword for, or why hold we in our hands 
these useless weapons ? But yet to love you're never slow 
and battles of the night, or when Bacchus' bending pipe has 
called the choirs to wait the banquets and the brimming 
bowls of loaded tables, — that is your delight, that your 
great desire — whilst the welcome augur proclaims the sacred 
rites, and the fat victim lures you to the groves. This 
said, into the midst he spurs his horse, he too soon to die, 
and in wild excitement bears down on Venulus; he tears 
him from his horse, and grasping with his hand he holds 
him on his saddle-bow, spurring with all his might. Shouts 
rise to heaven, and all the Latins turned to look. The 
fiery Tarchon flies o'er the plain, bearing both arms and 
man; then from his lance he breaks the head, and 
seeks an open part where he may deal a fatal wound; 
the other struggles from his throat to ward the blow, and 
force by force evades. As when an eagle in her soaring 
flight bears off a captured snake, and clasps him with her 
feet and crooked talons ; the wounded serpent writhes his 
winding coils, and bristles up his scales and hisses with his 
mouth, raising his head erect ; with no less force she grips 
him, struggling, with her crooked beak, and lashes with her 
wings the air ; just so from the Tiburtine ranks does Tar- 
chon bear his prey in triumph. The Maeonians onward 
rush, following the lead and fortune of their chief 

Then Arruns, whose destined hour was come, with his 
javelin and much cunning wile circles around Camilla, first 
to attack, and tries to find his readiest chance. Where'er 
the maiden rushed among the throng, there Arruns follows, 
and silently observes her steps : wherever she turns vic- 
torious, and from her foe withdraws, there the youth inclines 

458 THE AENEID. [Book xr. 

his quick and easy reins. Now this approach now that he 
views and all around surveys, and with fell intent he wields 
his trusty spear. 

Chloreus, sacred to Cybele, and formerly her priest, shone 
brightly from afar in Phrygian arms, and bestrode a foaming 
steed, on which was thrown a hide with golden clasps and 
plume-like scales of brass. Conspicuous in barbaric purple 
of a dusky hue, he shot his Cretan arrow from a Lycian 
bow ; the bow adorned with gold was on his shoulder slung ; 
his helmet was of gold ; his saffron chlamys and his rustling 
plaits of lawn a clasp of yellow gold confined ; he wore a 
broidered tunic and breeches from the East. Whether that 
in the temple she might hang the Trojan arms, or that she 
might deck herself in captive gold, him alone of all the field 
the huntress maid blindly pursued, and with incautious 
ardour followed him throughout the host, with all a woman's 
eagerness for booty and for spoils. Arruns his moment 
marked, and from his ambush hurled a spear, and thus to 
heaven his prayer addressed : Apollo, greatest of gods, 
guardian of Soracte's sacred height, whom we adore with 
special faith, for whom is fed the pile of blazing pine, and 
in whose service we worshippers, in piety secure, pass through 
the flames, and press with undaunted foot the burning 
coal : Father Almighty, grant that from our arms this stain 
may be effaced.^ Her spoils I seek not, nor trophy o'er a 
vanquished maid, nor any plunder : my other deeds will 
bring me fame : if by a wound from me this fury fall, to my 
home I will return, and claim no glory for the deed. Phoebus 
heard, his wish in part concedes ; part scatters to the 
fleeting air. With unexpected wound to slay Camilla in 
her haste he grants ; in safety to return and see his noble land 
he granted not, and his words were carried seaward by the 

'^ JVosfr/s anuis may mean "by my arms," or, as translated above, 
" from our arms," viz., the shame of their being routed by a woman. 

766-835] THE AENEID. 459 

winds. Then soon as the spear, from grasp set free, 
sounded in air, the thoughts and eyes of all the Volscians 
to their queen were quickly turned. Nor whizzing sound 
she heard, nor weapon coming from above, till the dart, 
borne on in flight, was lodged beneath her naked breast, 
and driven deep it drinks her virgin blood. Her attend- 
ant maidens flock around, and support their falHng chief. 
Arruns flies, wild with mingled joy and fear, and now no 
longer trusts his lance, nor dares to meet the maiden's steel. 
And as a wolf, having slain a shepherd or a lusty bull, 
conscious of his daring deed, by some untrodden way has 
to the lofty mountains fled for safety before the avenging 
darts pursue, and skulks with tail between his legs and seeks 
the woods ; just so did Arruns in dismay withdraw from 
sight, and pleased to escape, mingled in the throng of arms. 
With dying hand she tugged the lance, but between the ribs 
in the deep wound the blade sticks fast. She sinks from 
loss of blood : her eyes grow dim and cold in death : the 
colour, once so fresh, has left her cheeks. Then, as she 
breathes her last, she thus addresses Acca, a coeval mate, 
who to Camilla was faithful more than all, with whom she 
shared her cares ; and thus she speaks : So far, sister Acca, 
I have done my best ; now this bitter wound consumes me, 
and all around grows dark as night. Fly quick, and to 
Turnus bear my last request; let him take up the fight, 
and clear the Trojans from the walls. And now, farewell ! 
This said, she dropped the reins, sinking to earth, not with 
her will. Then in the chill of death, by little and by little 
she from the body slips away, and letting go her martial 
arms, she laid on earth her dying head, and with a sigh the 
spirit, muttering its wrongs, fled to the Shades below. Then 
mingled cries arose that smote the golden stars ; Camilla 
slain, the battle grows more bloody : in dense array they 
rush together — the Trojans in full force, and the Etruscan 
leaders, and Evander's horse. 

460 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

But now for long had Opis on the mountain sat, Diana's 
sentinel, and undismayed surveys the fight. And when, at 
distance, midst the shouts of maddened youths, she saw 
Camilla mangled in death of woe, she groans, and from her 
bosom's depths gave forth these words : Ah, maiden, too 
stern a penalty, too stern requital have you paid, daring to 
brave the Trojan arms ! nor has it aught availed that in soli- 
tude among the woods Diana's art you plied, or that our quiver 
on your shoulder hung. Yet not unhonoured in your death 
has Cynthia left you : among the nations of the earth Fame 
shall your fate make known, and say you were avenged. For 
whosoe'er he be that with a wound your flesh has harmed, 
shall by deserved death the deed atone. At a mountain's 
base there stood Dercennus' stately tomb, once of Laurentum 
king, composed of earthen mound, and shaded by a grove 
of oaks. On it the beauteous goddess halts with rapid 
bound, and from the summit guilty Arruns spies. When 
him she saw in glittering arms, elate with empty pride : 
Why move you off? says she; this way direct your steps; 
come here to meet your doom, and for Camilla's death your 
meed receive. Shall such as you be honoured by Diana's 
shafts ? So spake the Thracian nymph, and winged arrow 
from the quiver took, and with deadly aim she stretched the 
bow and drew it to its utmost length till the curving tips 
together came, and now with hands at equal stretch, with 
the left the blade she touched, and with the right her breast. 
The hissing shaft and sounding air that instant Arruns 
heard, and in his body felt the steel. As he dies and heaves 
his latest groan, his fellows heed him not, but leave him 
to lie unknown upon the dusty plain. Opis to the setherial 
sky on wings is borne away. 

Camilla's light-armed horse are first to fly, their queen now 
lost ; the routed Latins fly, flies too the bold Atinas ; scat- 
tered leaders and abandoned troops seek safety, and turned 
in flight, spur to the city's walls. Nor can any stay the 

836-905] THE AENEID. 46 1 

Trojans now in keen pursuit, and dealing death, or with- 
stand their furious onset ; but on their shoulders, faint and 
weary, their bows unstrung they bear, and in their flight the 
charger's hoof with heavy trample shakes the mouldering 
plain.i The dust in black and rolling clouds is borne to 
the walls, and on the towers the matrons beat their breasts, 
and to the stars of heaven ascends the woman's doleful wail. 
On those who at full speed first gain the open gates a crowd 
of hostile foemen press, and mingle in the fray ; and they 
escape not wretched death, but in the very entrance, in their 
native walls, and in the shelter of their homes, breathe forth 
their lives by ghastly wounds. Some shut the gates; nor 
dare to open to their friends, or within the walls receive 
them, although they beg and pray : a woful carnage follows 
of those with arms who bar approach, and those who 
rush on arms. Shut out before the eyes and in the presence 
of their weeping friends some in deep ditches fall, driven 
by the rout, some at full gallop charge against the gates 
and firmly bolted doors. Even the women from the walls 
with greatest eagerness — true love of country prompts 
them — when they saw Camilla, with headlong speed throw 
weapons in their bustling rage, and use hard oak and stakes 
and pointed poles instead of steel, and in their town's defence 
seek first to die. 

Meantime the dreadful news fills Turnus with disma)', 
as to the youth in ambush Acca tells of frightful rout 
and panic : of Volscian lines cut uj), of Camilla fallen, 
how with deadly hate the enemy rush in and carry all 
before them, and that terror to the walls had reached. 
Furious with rage the ambushed hills and rugged woods 
he leaves — so Jove's hard fates demand. Scarce was 
he out of sight and in the plain when ^neas entering 
the glades, now safe, ascends the ridge, and from the wood 

^ This line has, with slight variation, already occurred in Book viii. 
596, where see the translation given in a note. 

462 THE AENEID. [Book xi. 

gets free. Thus both to the city march at rapid pace, and 
with their full array, nor are they far apart, and at once 
^neas at distance saw the plain reeking with dust, and the 
Laurentine bands, and on his part Turnus knew the dread 
yEneas by his arms, and heard the tramp of feet and snorting 
of the steeds. And without delay they would engage in 
fight and battle try, did not rosy Phoebus dip in Iberian 
wave his wearied steeds, and by decline of day bring back 
the night. In camps before the town they rest, and walls 


In the Twelfth Book Juno prevents the single combat agreed upon between 
Turnus and iEneas. The Trojans are defeated in the absence of their 
king, who had retired wounded, but who is miraculously cured by 
Venus. On his return he again challenges Turnus to the combat, with 
whose death the poem concludes. 

When Turnus sees that broken by the adverse tide of 
war the spirits of the Latins faint and fail, that all eyes look 
to him his promise to fulfil, at once his mind is duly fired 
with fierce resolve, and his manly courage rises at the 
thought. Like as a lion, when in Punic plains by sportsmen 
sorely wounded, at length shows fight, and shakes with 
defiant pride the hairy masses of his flowing mane, and 
undismayed the hunter's spear in twain he snaps, and roars 
with bloody mouth : just so in Turnus' heated breast his 
savage nature still more savage grows. He then accosts 
the king, and in the tumult of his wrath he thus begins : 
Turnus is ready : no ground have coward Trojans to retract 
their words or refuse what they engaged. I meet him : bring 
sacred things, O Father, and a truce conclude. Either to 
Orcus I shall send this Dardan, Asia's runaway, — let the 
Latins sit and see — and by my single arm wipe out the 
nation's stains, or let him hold us conquered, and have 
Lavinia as his bride. 

To him with heart composed Latinus made reply : O 
youth of gallant mind, the more in dauntless valour 
you abound, the more am I required to seek your safety, 
and carefully with fear to weigh the risks of fortune. 
Your father's realms are yours by right, and yours the 

464 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

many towns by valour gained : and I have gold with 
will to give. In Latium and Laurentine lands are other 
maids unwed, of lineage high and spotless. Allow me 
without guile to state these truths, unpleasant though 
they be : and ponder this with care : To none of former 
suitors did Fate permit that I should give my daughter as a 
wife ; and that all gods and prophets said. By love for you, 
by kindred blood, and by my wife's sad tears o'ercome, all 
bonds I broke : from future son I tore his bride : and levied 
impious war.^ What woes, what wars, pursue me since 
you see yourself, what toils you chiefly bear. Routed in 
battle twice in our walls we scarce maintain the hopes of 
Italy : with our blood the streams of Tiber still are warm : 
and the vast plains are whitened with our bones. Where 
am I driven to and fro ? why madly change my purpose ? 
If on Turnus' death I mean to make them friends, why not 
rather stop the war and save his life ? What will Rutulian 
kinsmen say, and what all Italy besides, if — heaven belie my 
words — you to death I leave who seek my daughter's 
hand ? The changing fate of war regard : have pity on your 
aged father, whom in his grief, and far from you, his native 
Ardea holds. Turnus with overbearing mind is changed 
not by his words : more fiercely do the flames of wrath arise, 
and the attempted cure but aggravates the ill. Soon as 
utterance he could find he thus begins : The care you feel 
for me, good sire, I pray you lay aside, and suffer me to gain 
renown by glorious death. I, too, can wield my darts and 
sword with no weak hand, and from the wounds I deal the 
blood is wont to flow. Not near him shall his goddess-mother 
be to screen him as he flies, and hide herself in empty shade. 
But the queen by new conditions of the fight dismayed was 
weeping, and with death grip held her furious son : Turnus, 
by these tears, by the regard you for Amata feel — you are 

^ Not only because ^iieas was destined by the gods to be his son-in- 
law, but because the war was between persons who had formed a truce. 

22-9oJ THE AENEID. 465 

now my only hope, the only solace of my sad old age : the 
dignity and power of Latinus vest in you : on you alone the 
family is fain to lean for help — one thing I ask : forbear in 
fight with Trojans to engage. Whatever fortune in that 
combat waits you, me also it awaits : with you I leave this 
hated light, nor as a captive will I see a Trojan son-in-law. 
Her mother's words Lavinia heard, her burning cheeks 
suffused with tears, in whom deep blushes kindled up the 
glow, and overspread her heated face. As one stains 
Indian ivory with ruddy purple, or as white lilies mixed with 
many roses blush : such colours in her face the maiden 
showed. Love thrills his soul, and on the maid he fixed his 
gaze. He burns for arms the more, and to Amata briefly 
speaks : O mother, to the stubborn work of war send me not 
forth, I pray, with tears, attend me not with such an evil 
omen : for Turnus is not free to stay his death. Go, Idmon, 
these my words bear to the Phrygian chief, a nowise welcome 
message : soon as to-morrow's dawn shall redden in the sky, 
borne on her crimson car, not Trojan 'gainst Rutulian let 
him lead, — let Trojan and Rutulian arms remain at peace, 
— but let us end the war with his blood or with mine : on 
the field let Lavinia as a bride be won. 

When this he said and quickly to the palace hied, he calls 
for his steeds, and gladly sees them neighing as he comes,^ 
which Orithyia ^ as a special honour gave to Pilumnus, and 
which in whiteness passed the snow, in speed the wind. The 
bustling grooms stand round, and with their hands they clap 
their chests and comb their flowing manes. And then he 
dons his corslet rough with scales of orichalc and gold : 
his sword, too, and his shield, and sockets for his ruddy crest 
he fits for active use : — the sword which Vulcan for his 

^ Ante ora — literally, "before his face." Turnus took it as a good 
omen that his horses neighed on seeing their master ; hence his gladness. 

* Orithyia, a daughter of Erechtlieus, king of Athens, and wife of 
Boreas, king of Thrace. 

2 G 

466 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

father Daunus made, and plunged it glowing in the Stygian 
lake. Then with a vigorous grasp he seized his sturdy spear, 
which in the palace stood, against a column leant, Auruncan 
Actor's spoil, and shakes it quivering, exclaiming thus : O 
spear, that never failed my call, now, now the time has 
come : the mighty Actor bore you once, and now the arm 
of Turnus wields : grant me to stretch on earth this Phrygian 
eunuch, and his rent corslet from his body tear, and soil 
in dust those locks, curled by the heated iron and soaked 
with fragrant myrrh. By such furious passions is he goaded : 
and from all his face the burning sparks shoot forth : fire 
flashes from his glaring eyes. As when at first a bull, training 
for battle, terrific roars emits, and tries in his horns to centre 
all his wrath by butting on a tree, and beats the air with 
blows, and spurns the sand, as prelude to the fight. 

AVith no less care ^neas, fierce in heavenly arms, his 
mother's gift, kindles his martial spirit, and stirs himself to 
rage, well pleased to close the war by proffered truce. His 
friends he comforts, and lulls the fears of sorrowing liilus, 
the Fates explaining, and bids the messengers to bear to 
king Latinus his final answer, and dictate terms of peace. 

Scarce had the Morning shed on mountain tops her light, 
when first the horses of the sun rise from the deep abyss, 
and from their upraised nostrils breathe forth rays of light : 
when under the city's walls the Trojans and Rutulians 
measured ground, and made it ready for the fight, and in 
the midst raised hearths and grassy altars for their common 
gods. Others, in the limus^ clothed, brought fire and water, 

^ There is another reading — lino, with linen, regarding which Servius 
writes that the priests and sacred ministers among the Romans, by whom 
the laws of peace and war were confirmed, were prohibited from wear- 
ing anything of linen ; and that Virgil designedly clothes the Feciales 
in linen robes on this occasion, to let us know beforehand that the 
league was to be broken, since it was ushered in with unlawful rites. 
Limtis^ a kind of petticoat worn by the priests in sacrifice, reaching 
from the waist to the feet. 

91-151] THE AENEID. 467 

and their temples wreathed with vervain. The Ausonian 
host advances, and from the crowded gates the bands pour 
forth in column dense.^ On the other side the Trojans and 
the Tuscans hasten forth in varied arms, equipped with 
weapons as though they heard the battle-call. The leaders, 
too, in gold and purple proudly decked, in midst of thousands 
hasten to and fro, Mnestheus, offspring of Assaracus, and 
brave Asilas, and Messapus, horseman bold, own son 
of Neptune. And when, on given signal each to his place 
withdrew, they fix their spears in earth, and lay their shields 
at rest. Then pouring from their homes in eagerness the 
women and the unarmed throng and weak old men beset 
the towers and roofs, while others at the lofty gates take up 
their stand. 

But from the summit of the hill, now called Albanus — at 
that time it had neither name, nor honour, nor renown — 
Juno looking forth, surveyed the plain, the Trojan and 
Laurentian hosts and city of Latinus. Then Turnus' sister 
she at once addressed, the goddess who over lakes and 
sounding streams presides : to her great Jove, heaven's 
king, this honour made secure, requiting her for lost 
virginity : O nymph, glory of rivers, dearest to my soul, you 
know that you of Latian maidens who have shared the bed 
of mighty Jove I grudged, I have set first, and in the courts 
of heaven I gladly gave you place : your special grief, 
Juturna,^ learn and blame me not. As far as Fortune bore, 
and Fate allowed prosperity to Latium, Turnus and your 
city I protected. I see the youth now on his way to meet 
unequal chance : the day and baleful force of Destiny 
approach. The combat and the truce I cannot bear to see. 

^ " In column dense, "///iz/rt. The word comes from /z'/a a column 
or pillar, and means "close-pressed," as the parts of a pillar are by the 
superincumbent mass. It may also mean " straight as a column." 

- Juturna, the sister of king Turnus, was changed into a fountain of 
tlie same name, the waters of which were used in the sacrifices of Vesta. 

468 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

If for a brother you will dare some present help, do it at 
once : you it becomes. Perchance a better fortune will 
attend the wretched Latins. She ceased to speak : at once 
Juturna poured forth floods of tears, and thrice, aye, four 
times smote her beauteous breast. No time is this for 
tears, Saturnian Juno said : make haste and, if any way be 
found, your brother save from death : or stir again the war, 
and break the truce devised. I, Juno, bid you try. She 
urged her thus, then left her in suspense, and by the wound 
to her affections sorely troubled. 

Meantime the kings advance : Latinus of majestic frame 
rides in a four-horse car, whose brow twelve golden rays 
surround, emblem of the sun,^ his mighty sire ; him Turnus 
follows with a milk-white pair, grasping in his brawny hand 
two javelins tipped with steel. On the other part, -^neas, 
source of the Roman race, brilliant with star-like shield 
and heavenly arms, and at his side Ascanius, second hope 
of mighty Rome, from the camp come forth, and the priest, 
in robe unspotted, brought the youngling of a bristly sow, 
and an unshorn lamb,^ and placed them at the blazing 
altars. They, turning to the rising sun, the salt cakes 
strew, and with the knife they score the victims' brows, 
and on the altars pour libations. Then good ^neas 
with his sword unsheathed thus prays : Thou sun be 

^ Latinus was the grandson of Picus, who took Circe, tlie daughter 
of the sun, to be his wife or concubine, and by her had Faunus, the 
father of Latinus, who consequently was the grandchild of the sun. 

2 Ruckus observes, that the ewe was offered for ^neas, after the 
manner of the Greelcs, who commonly ratified a league with the sacri- 
fice of a sheep or lamb, as we see in Homer, II. iii. 103. The sow 
again is for Latinus, after the Roman or Italian fashion, which Livy 
intimates to have been of very great antiquity, lib. i. 24, where he gives 
the form of ratifying a league between the Romans and Albans, in the 
reign of Tullus Ilostilius : " Audi Jupiter, &c. — Si prior defexit, tu illo 
die Jupiter populum Romanum sic ferito, ut ego hunc porcum hie hodie 

152-204] THE AENEID. 469 

witness, and thou land of Italy draw near, for which so 
many labours I have borne ; and thou Almighty Jove, 
and thou, Saturnian spouse, now more propitious, now, O 
goddess, I thee beseech : and thou O glorious father 
Mars, who as thou wilt disposest every war : ye fountains 
and ye rivers I invoke ; whatever Sanctitus there are 
in lofty sether ; whatever deities dwell in the azure deep : 
if victory should chance to fall to Turnus of Ausonia, 
it is agreed that to the city of Evander we retire : 
liilus shall quit the land : nor ever afterwards shall the 
yEneadte renew the war, or by the sword attack these 
realms : but should success my battle crown, — as I rather 
think, and so by their nod may gods confirm, — neither 
shall I compel the Italians to be subject to the Trojans, 
nor claim a sovereign lordship for myself. Both nations 
unsubdued and free shall join in an eternal league on 
terms of full equality. The gods, and worship of the 
gods, I shall ordain : ^ my sire Latinus shall war control, 
and as a father-in-law shall hold the sceptre as his rightful 
due. The Trojans shall for me a city build, and to that 
city Lavinia shall give her name. Thus first ^neas : 
then thus Latinus follows, looking up to heaven, and to the 
stars extends his hand : By these same powers I swear, 
/Eneas — by earth, by sea, by stars, by Latona's double seed, 
and two-faced Janus, by the might of gods below and by 
the shrine of Pluto stern : let Eather Jove hear this, who by 
his thunder ratifies our leagues. I touch the altars and the 
fires and gods between us^ I adjure. This peace and 
treaty no future time, by fault of Italy, shall break what- 
ever may befall : no power shall turn me from my pledge, 
with will at least, not if it scattered earth on sea and 

^ i.e., the Latins are to receive those of the Trojans. 

-"Fire and gods between us" — i.e., on the altar, on one side of 
which /Eneas stood, and Latinus on the other. Some take nicdios to 
mean " mediating" ; others " impartial." 

470 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

deluge both confounded, and if the firmament in Orcus 
be dissolved. Sure as this sceptre — for a sceptre in his 
hand he chanced to hold — shall ne'er send forth or leaf, or 
shoot or shade, since once for all 'twas severed from its 
parent trunk, and by the steel both branch and foliage lost ; 
then a bough, but now the artist's skill in seemly bronze 
has sheathed, and given to Latin senators to wear. The 
treaty thus between them they confirmed in presence of the 
chiefs : Then victims duly hallowed o'er the flames they 
slay,^ and from the quivering bodies take the flesh, and 
loaded chargers on the altars heap. 

But the Rutulians had already deemed the fight un- 
equal, and their hearts are touched by various emotions ; 
then more so, when at nearer view they clearly see the 
champions, ill-matched in body and in strength. Their 
fears increase as Turnus to the altar steps with gait 
subdued and downcast eye, in suppliant worship, his cheeks 
all wasted and on his youthful face a paleness as of death. 
Soon as Juturna saw the murmurs of the people rise, 
and their sinking hearts in purpose wavering, into the 
midst she hastes, in form resembling Gamers, — whose 
race was old and noble, whose family was known for deeds 
of bravery, and he himself in arms most valiant, — among 
the ranks she mingles, to the crisis equal, and various 
rumours spreads, and speaks as follows : Are you not 
ashamed, Rutulians, one life for all to risk, and all so 
brave ? Is't in numbers or in strength we're not their 
match ? Lo ! here are all, both Trojans and Arcadians, 
and Etruria, to Turnus hostile, bands led, forsooth, by fated 
chief! If we engage them, every second man scarce 
finds a foe. He indeed by fame shall reach the gods for 
whose altars now he gives his life, and in the mouths 
of men he shall for ever live : while we who here sit idly on 

^ ^^ Jiigiilare " properly means " to cut the throat." 

205-267] THE AENEID. 47 1 

the plain shall lose our country and be subject to a haughty 
lord. By words so brave the spirit of the youth is roused 
to fire, from much to more, and through the lines a murmur 
runs : the Laurentines and the Latins too are changed in 
mind. Those who were hoping rest from war and 
quiet for their troubled state, now pray for arms and 
wish the league unmade, and pity Turnus and his lot 
unjust. 1 To these incentives a greater still Juturna adds, 
and in lofty heaven a portent sends, than which none more 
potently confused the minds of the Italians and by its 
wondrous sight misled. For in the ruddy sky the tawny 
bird of Jove in flight pursued some water-fowl, a noisy 
flock and winged band : when to the water with a sudden 
swoop he glides, and rapacious with his crooked talons 
seized a noble swan. The Italians in rapt attention gazed, 
and all the birds wheel right aI)out, with noisy cries, 
strange to behold, and darken heaven with their wings, 
and in a cloud pursue their enemy through air, till over- 
powered by force and by his load he failed, and 
from his claws down on the river flung his prey, and fled 
far off into the clouds of heaven. And then with shouts of 
joy the Latins hail the omen, and their hands get ready : 
and first Tolumnius the augur says : This, this, is what I 
often sought by prayer. I welcome it, and in it recognise 
the gods : draw swords and follow me, poor citizens, 
v.-hom in war this reckless stranger persecutes like helpless 
birds, and ravages your coasts. He, too, shall take to flight, 
and o'er the deep sail far away. With one accord 
close up your ranks, and in the fight defend your ravished 

He spoke, and rushing forward hurled a spear among 
the opposing host : tlie dart goes forth with whizzing 
sound and cuts the air, unerring in its aim. At once 

^ " Lot unjust," i.e. that owing to the cowardice of the Latins, it 
was "hard lines" for Turnus to have to fight in single combat. 

472 THE AENEID. [Book xli. 

a piercing cry is heard, and all the ranks in terror start 
and hearts beat high in tumult's rage. The javelin as it 
flew alighted where, as it chanced, nine brothers stood, of 
noble form, whom to Arcadian Gylippus one mother bore, 
— a faithful Tuscan wife ; one of these a youth noted 
for beauty and for his shining arms, it struck at the 
waist, where the stitched belt rubs on the belly and 
where the buckle clasps the meeting flaps, and through 
his ribs it passed and stretched him on the yellow sand. 
His valiant brothers, by grief enraged, — some draw the 
sword, some seize the spear, — rush blindly on. 'Gainst 
them the bands of the Laurentines sally forth : and then, 
again Trojans and Tuscans, and Arcadians with painted 
arms, in dense array stream out. One common passion 
moves them all — by sword to end the strife. They tear the 
altars down : through all the air a troubled storm of 
weapons flies — an iron shower pours down amain. The 
goblets and the hearths are borne away : ^ Latinus himself 
escapes, the league unfinished, bearing off his outraged 
gods. Some their steeds rein up, and mount their chariots 
at a bound, and with swords unsheathed stand ready. 
Messapus, eager to confound the truce, heads his horse 
against Aulestes, an Etruscan king, with royal diadem 
adorned : he hastily retreats and by the altar meeting 
him in rear is tossed upon his head and shoulders. But 
in eager haste Messapus rushes up and high above him on 
his horse smites him with heavy spear, while begging life, 
and thus he speaks: "He has caught it":- this better 
victim to the mighty gods is given. The Italians crowd upon 
him and strip his limbs still warm. Corynaeus from the altar 

^ The priests and ministers bear away the utensils which had been 
employed in pledging the truce. 

-i.e., "he has received his coup Je grace, ''^ a gladiatorial phrase. 
Cf. Ter. Andr. i. 8, 56. 


268-332 ] THE AENEID. 473 

snatched a burning torch and focing Ebusus as he came 
and dealt a blow, in his face he hurled the brand : his 
bushy beard blazed forth and burning spread a stench : 
then following up the stroke he seized the hair of the 
bewildered foe, and pressing on him with his knee he 
thrust him to the ground : and then into his side he 
plunged his rigid steel, Podalirius, with sword unsheathed 
pursuing Alsus, as through the hottest of the fight he rushed, 
hangs on his rear : but Alsus swinging round his axe 
severed his head from brow to chin, and with the scattered 
gore besmeared his arms. Forced rest and iron sleep 
oppress his eyes : his light is quenched in everlasting 

^neas with uncovered head stretched forth his hand 
unarmed, and loudly shouted to his men : Where rush 
you? what sudden discord rises in your midst? Oh, 
restrain your passions ! the league has now been made, 
and all its terms agreed : to me alone belongs the right of 
battle : leave it to me and lay aside your fears : my arm 
will make the treaty sure : these sacred rites to me now 
Turnus owe. While he is speaking thus an arrow came on 
whizzing wings, what hand directed, what whirlwind drove 
it home none knew, who to the Rutulians such glory gave, 
chance or a deity : the fame of deed so signal was con- 
cealed, and no man claimed the credit of .Ihieas' wound. 
When Turnus saw /Eneas from his host retire, and the 
leaders in dismay, his horses and his arms he calls and 
with a bound into his chariot springs, elate with joy, 
and in his hands he wields the reins. As he flies along 
to death he many warriors gives, many he overturns half 
dead, or tramples down the ranks and at the flying crowd 
hurls spear on spear. ^ As when beside cold Hebrus' 
streams the bloody Mars to fur)' roused, the sign of battle 

^ Snatched up from his own chariot, or from the bodies of tlie slain. 

474 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

striking on his shield, and kindling war, lets loose his 
furious steeds : over the open plain they fly, the winds 
outstripping : Thrace to its utmost end groans 'neath their 
trampling feet : and around him are arrayed grim Terror, 
Rage, and Stratagem, attendants of the god : like him 
does Turnus through thickest of the fight his reeking 
horses drive, trampling down his enemies in ghastly slaughter : 
their flying feet strike up the bloody spray, and tread on 
sand and gore. And now to death he sent Sthenelus 
and Thamyrus and Pholus, the latter in close fight, the 
former at a distance : at distance, Glaucus and Ladus, 
sons of Imbrasus, whom Imbrasus with care had reared in 
Lycia, and had equipped in arms fitted alike to fight 
on foot, or charge on fleetest steed. In another part 
Eumedes rushes to the thickest fight, son of the elder 
Dolon,^ famed in war, who bore his grandsire's name, 
but showed the deeds and spirit of his father, who 
once being sent to spy the Grecian camp dared to demand 
as his reward the chariot and the horses of Achilles. With 
a far different reward Tydides paid him for a deed so 
bold, and now he aims not at Achilles' steeds. When 
him at distance Turnus saw upon the open plain, with 
light javelin through the middle space he first pursues, 
then stops his horses and from the chariot jumps, and 
overtakes him fallen and now good as dead, and with 
foot upon his neck from his hand the sword he wrests, 
and deep in his throat he plunged the glittering blade, and 
added thus : Hesperia and its fields attacked in war lie 
there and measure. Such rewards they bear away who 
dare to test me with the sword : thus they cities found. 
Hurling his spear he sends Asbutes to attend him to 
the Shades, and Chloreus and Sybaris and Dares and 

^ Dolon, a Trojan remarkable for liis swiftness, having been sent as 
a spy to the Grecian camp, was seized and put to death by Diomedes. 

333-394] THE AENEID. 475 

Thersilochus, and Thymoetes who from his restive horse 
had fallen. As when the blast of Thracian Boreas roars on 
the deep /Egean, and pursues its billows to the shore : 
where'er the wind comes down in force the clouds from 
heaven take flight : so before Turnus where he makes 
his way the ranks give ground and routed squadrons fly : 
himself the very fury onward bears, and as he speeds against 
the breeze it shakes his streaming crest. Him rushing 
on and mad with battle's rage Phegeus no longer bore : 
before the car he sprang, the bridles seized, and turned 
aside the maddened steeds, whose mouths were foaming 
on the bit. While he is dragged along and by the 
harness hangs, the heavy spear-head reached his fence- 
less side, his double corslet bursts and slightly wounds 
his flesh. Yet turning with opposing shield his foe he 
"went for," and sought assistance from his bare and 
trusty sword : when the wheel in swift career dashed him 
headlong, and sent him sprawling on the ground ; and 
Turnus following struck off his head between the helmet's 
lower edge, and rim of corslet, and left the trunk upon the 

While Turnus thus unchecked o'er all the plain deals 
death, ^ncas bathed in blood, Mnestheus, and Achates, 
trusty friend, and Ascanius with them brought to the camp, 
supporting with his spear each second step. With vexation 
wild he tugs the arrow with its broken shaft, and demands the 
readiest means of aid, that with the sword they cut and open 
to its depths the arrow's hiding-place and send him back 
to battle. And now lapyx,^ lasius' son, was near, beloved 
by Phoebus above other men : to whom Apollo out of 
tender love was fain to teach his arts, his rarest gifts, his 
skill in augury, the harp, and winged shafts. He to prolong 

^ lapyx, a Trojan, the son of lasius, and a favourite ot Apollo, who 
instructed him in medicine. 

476 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

his dying father's fate preferred to know the power of 
herbs, and how to use for cures, and in pursuits that 
brought no fame to spend his days. Chafing with rage and 
grief ^neas stood, leaning on his stahvart spear, amid 
a throng of youths with sorrowing liilus, but by their tears 
unmoved. lapyx with his cloak thrown back and bound as 
doctors do, with healing hand and Phoebus' potent herbs 
makes eager haste in vain ; in vain the dart from side to 
side he moves, and with the griping forceps tries to seize 
the barbs. No lucky chance directs the means : no help 
his patron god supplies : and more and more upon the 
plain swells the dread din of battle, and danger nearer 
comes. The firmament seems made of dust, the horse 
advance and in the very centre of the camp the darts fall 
thick. A piteous cry rises to heaven of those who fight and 
those who in the stubborn battle fall. Here Venus by Eneas' 
needless pain distressed, with all a mother's care some 
dittany from Cretan Ida pulls, a stalk with downy leaves 
mature, and purple flower : that plant to wild goats not un- 
known, when winged arrows in their flesh have stuck. This 
Venus brought, her form enveloping in darkening mist : with 
this the water she infects into the shining basin poured, 
imparting secret power to heal, ambrosia too that health 
imparts she sprinkles, and fragrant panacea. With this water 
lapyx bathed the wound in ignorance, and suddenly all 
pain of course fled from his body, and in the gash all 
blood was stanched. And now the arrow, following the 
hand, of its own accord dropped out, and to its pristine 
state his strength returned anew. Fly quick and bring 
the hero's arms ! why do you stand ? lapyx shouts 
aloud, and first against the foe their courage kindles. 
This is not due to human power nor master skill, nor, 
O ^neas, is mine the hand that saved. A mightier than I, 
a god has done it, and sends you back to greater deeds 
than ever. He eager for the fight already had inclosed his 

395-460] THE AENEID. 477 

legs in golden greaves, and cannot brook delay, and bran- 
dishes his spear. When to his side the shield is fitted, and 
corslet to his back, Ascanius he embraces with surrounding 
arms and through his helmet gently kissing says : from 
me, my boy, learn valour, and real toil; from others, 
fortune. Now shall my hand in war secure your safety, 
and lead you to the midst of great rewards : soon when 
your age shall reach maturity, see that you remember this, 
and as you call to mind the example of your friends, let 
your father ^f^neas and your uncle Hector spur you on to 
deeds of valour. • 

When this he said he issued from the gates, in stature 
vast, shaking in his hand a giant spear : with him in dense 
array Antheus and Mnestheus rush and all the throng 
stream out and leave the camp. Then blinding dust the 
plain confounds, and earth trembles, by tramp of feet 
alarmed. Them as they came Turnus from an opposing 
height observed, the Ausonians saw them too, and a chilling 
tremor ran to their inmost bones : of all the Latins Juturna 
was the first to hear and recognise the sound, and in terror 
fled away. Onward he speeds, and hurries o'er the open 
plain his dusky band,^ as with sudden gust a storm comes 
landward from the open sea : the hearts, alas ! of wretched 
rustics shudder, when they feel it from afar : it will uproot 
their trees and lay their standing crops, and level all 
things far and wide : tlie winds rush onward, and bear the 
roar to land : so does the Trojan chief lead on his host 
against the opposing foe : in dense array they join him with 
their serried ranks. With his sword Thymbrgeus smites the 
huge Osiris, Mnestheus slays Arcetius, and Achates Epulo, 
and Gyas Ufens : Tolumnius the augur falls, who first had 

^ Atrum Ag/iien, his " dusky band," i.e. soiled and darkened by the 
dust. It may also mean, in reference to Turnus and the Rutulians 
looking on, a "doom foreboding band" — a "lilack sight for them," 
Yikoatra dies a " black day." 

4/8 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

hurled his lance against the opposing foe. A shout is 
raised to heaven, and now the Rutulians turn and fly across 
the plain in dusty rout, ^neas deigns not to slay the 
fugitives, nor follow those already met in fight, or those who 
offer battle. Turnus alone amidst the clouds of darkening 
dust he tracks with watchful eye, and him alone for fight 

Agonised by fear of this, Juturna, warlike maid, flings out 
between the reins Metiscus, charioteer of Turnus, and left 
him far behind as from the pole he fell. She takes his 
place, and in her hands •she guides the waving reins, in all 
things like Metiscus, in voice, in body, and in arms. As 
through the spacious mansion of some wealthy lord the 
dusky swallow flies, and traverses the lofty courts with 
winged speed, gathering the tiny prey, food for its twitter- 
ing young : and now in empty galleries its voice is heard, 
now midst the tanks and cisterns : like it Juturna by her 
steeds through middle of the foe is borne, and flying in 
the rapid chariot all surveys : and now at this place, now at 
that her brother in his triumph proudly shows : yet suffers 
not that in battle with ^neas he should close : but far 
away she flies in devious route. 

With no less eagerness ^neas tracks her mazy rounds to 
meet him, and keeps her far in view, and through routed 
bands he loudly calls his name. Oft as on his enemy he 
cast his eyes and tried in speed to match the winged steeds, 
so often did Juturna wheel and turn the car another way. 
Alas ! what can he do ? In vain he wavers with distracting 
tide of thought.-, and different cares direct his mind to 
various plans. At him Messapus, as in his hand he 
chanced to bear two spears with points of steel, with sudden 
turn hurled one with aim unfailing, ^neas halted, and 
under cover of his shield he crouched and sank upon his 
knee : yet the impetuous dart bore off" the highest cone, 
and swept away the waving crest. Thus in truth his 


461-527 ] THE AENEin. 479 

wrathful passions rise : and by this sneaking treachery 
compelled, when he perceived the horses and the chariot 
borne clean away, adjuring Jove and altars of the broken 
league, now at length he rushes on the densest of the foe, 
and by aid of Mars, in reckless vengeance he spreads the 
ghastly carnage right and left, and to his wrath gives 
loosest rein. 

What god can now to me in verse set forth so many 
bitter scenes, such widespread carnage, and the death of 
chiefs, which o'er the plain now Turnus, now the Trojan 
hero deals? O Jupiter, was it thy will that nations soon 
to be knit in everlasting peace should thus in furious 
shock of battle meet? The Rutulian Sucro — his contest 
was the first to check the Trojans' onward sweep — ^^^neas 
catches in the side, and stays not for a second blow, and 
where the way of death is quickest, through the ribs he 
thrust his naked sword, and through the wattled breast. 
Turnus on foot encounters Amycus unhorsed, and Diores, 
too, a brother, — one as he comes with his long spear he 
smites, the other with his sword, and on his chariot hangs 
the severed heads, and bears them dropping blood. Talos 
and Tanais yEneas does to death and brave Cethegus, 
three at one fell swoop, and with them sends Onites, sad 
of look, Theban by name, by lineage Peridia's son : here 
he slew the brothers from Lycia sent and from Apollo's 
lands, and Menoetes, an Arcadian youth, who vainly hated 
war, who plied the fisher's art among the streams of Lerna, 
whose home was poor, the duties of the rich who knew not, 
and whose father tilled a hired farm. Just as two fires let 
loose at different parts into a withered copse and groves of 
crackling bays, or when in rapid course from mountain 
height two foaming rivers roar, and rush to sea, each 
delving out his path : with no less fury do Turnus and 
^neas rush through the embattled plain : and now, even 
now, the tide of passion boils within : now their hearts that 

480 THE AENEID. ' [Book xii. 

know not how to yield with fury burst : now with all their 
might they "go for" wounds. Murranus boasting of his 
ancestry and proud ancestral names, and of his race 
through Latin kings derived, yEneas with a rock and 
mighty mass of stone flung like a whirlwind down from his 
chariot hurls, and casts him sprawling "on the ground : him 
beneath the reins and yoke the wheels dragged on ; and 
with many a kick the hoofs of the horses, heedless of their 
master, tread upon him. Hyllus rushing on and in wild 
excitement raging Turnus encountered, and at his gilded 
helmet hurled a spear; through his casque the javelin pierced 
and in his brain stuck fast. Nor could your good right 
hand save you from Turnus, O Cretheus, bravest of the 
Greeks ; nor did his gods protect Cupencus from ^neas 
coming up ; he bravely faced the foe, but little did the 
brazen shield avail its wretched owner. You too, tEoIus, the 
Laurentine plains saw fall in death, and with your body 
overlay the ground ; you fall whom neither Argive hosts 
could slay, nor great Achilles who Priam's realm o'erthrew : 
here was your goal of life : 'neath Ida was your noble 
home, in Lyrnesus too a noble house — in Laurentine soil 
your tomb. And now the forces all are face to face, all the 
Latins, all the Trojans too, Mnestheus and the fierce 
Serestus, and Messapus, horseman bold, and brave Asilas, 
the Tuscan phalanx, and Evander's horse — each for himself 
puts forth his utmost power : nor stay nor rest is there : in 
mighty mortal struggle they contend. 

Here Venus in her son inspired the thought, the walls to 
seek and quickly turn his force against the city, and by the 
sudden blow confound the Latins. While tracking Turnus 
through the ranks his eyes he turns now here, now there, 
he sees the city by such a war unscathed, and peacefully at 
rest. At once the picture of a greater battle fires his mind : 
Mnestheus and Sergestus and the brave Serestus, leading 
chiefs, he summons, and mounts a height, to which the 


528-593 ] THE AENEID. 481 

Trojan forces flock, and lay not down their shields and 
darts though closely packed.^ Standing in the centre on 
the mound he speaks as follows : Let none delay my order 
to fulfil : Jove is with us : let none with the less ardour go 
because the venture on a sudden comes. This day the city, 
cause of war, and throne of King Latinus too I will destro)', 
if they consent not to receive our yoke and, vanquished, to 
submit, and I will lay their smoking roof-trees level with 
the ground. Am I, forsooth, to wait till it please Turnus 
to accept the combat offered, and conquered once may feel 
inclined again to meet me ? This is the source, my friends, 
this, the sum and substance of the unholy war. Bring 
torches quickly, and by fire demand our treaty-rights. He 
spoke, and all with equal zeal form into line, and on the 
walls bear down in dense array. Suddenly the scaling 
ladders are brought forth and fiery torches glow. Some 
hasten to the gates and slay the first they meet, others 
hurl darts, and with their weapons cloud the sky. yEneas 
in the front to the city stretched his hand, and in loud voice 
Latinus blames, and calls the gods to witness that a second 
time to battle he is forced, that twice the Latins have 
become his foes, and that a second league they break. 
Among the trembling citizens dissension rises high ; some 
wish to open up the city to the Trojans, and throw wide the 
gates, and to the walls they force the king himself: others 
bring arms and go to defend the town : as when a shepherd 
a swarm of bees has traced shut in a harbouring cleft and 
filled their hive with bitter smoke : they humming within 
run to and fro in terror through their waxen camp, and with 
loud buzzing whet their wrath : the smoky stench through 
all their cells is rolled : then with hum subdued the rock 
within resounds : to the empty air the smoke ascends. 
This evil fortune too befell the exhausted Latins, and 

^ " Densi" refers to " milites^"' which is implied in " legto.'* 

2 H 

482 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

with grief it stunned the city to its depths. When queen 
Amata saw the coming foe, the walls attacked, the fire 
mounting to the roofs, nowhere Rutulian force opposed, 
no troops of Turnus and his men : in her woe she deemed 
her favoured youth in heat of battle slain, and with sudden 
grief in mind distracted, she cries that she had been the 
cause, the guilty author, and the source of all their ills, and 
many more things said she in her frantic agony, and then 
resolved to die she rends her purple robe, and on a lofty 
beam she ties the noose of ghastly death.^ But when the 
Latin matrons with anguish heard the fatal news, Lavinia 
first her rosy cheeks and her bright tresses tore, then all the 
throng in frantic grief indulge : with shrieks and wails the 
palace to its utmost end resounds. And then the tale of 
woe through all the city spreads. Despair possesses all. 
With robes to pieces rent Latinus comes, stunned by his 
consort's death and empire's ruin, and with unseemly dust 
his hoary hair defiles, and much he blames himself that he 
had not before received ^neas and willingly adopted him 
as a son. 

Meanwhile Turnus warring in the outskirts of the field 
pursues few straggling foes, more listless now, and of his 
steeds' success less and less proud. To him the wind bore 
down the mingled din with its alarming doubts, and the 
confused roar and fate foreboding murmurs struck his 
listening ear. Ah me ! why are our walls to such commo- 
tion stirred ? What shouts so loud come from the distant 
town? So says he, and frantic stopped and reined his 
team. And him his sister in these words opposed, as in 
Metiscus' form she guided the chariot and the horses and 
the reins : This way, Turnus, let us pursue the Trojans, 
where lies the nearest path to victory : there are others who 

^ Either referring to the supposed treatment in the other world of 
tliose who had committed suicide, or to the disgracefulness of a death 
by hanging. 

594-66o] THE AENEID. 483 

by their might the city can defend, ^neas assails the 
ItaHans and in fierce battle joins ; let us too by our valour 
cause to the Trojans many deaths. You will quit the field 
with no fewer victories and no less renown. Then Turnus 
in reply ; Long since I knew you when first by artifice you 
broke the league and in this war engaged, and now, though 
a goddess, in vain you try to mock my sight. But who 
desired you to leave heaven's peaceful scenes and suffer 
toils like these ? Is it to see your ill-starred brother's cruel 
death ? For what am I doing ? or what hope of life does 
Fortune now hold out ? Before these very eyes I saw 
Murranus, than whom no man more dear to me survives 
falling in death and calling for my help ; mighty was he and 
by a mighty wound subdued. Ill-fated Ufens died that my 
disgrace he might not see : the Trojans keep his body and 
his arms in their possession. Shall I suffer the city to be 
razed, — that evil fortune now alone remains ? and shall I not 
with this right hand refute the calumnies of Drances ? Shall 
I turn my back, and shall this land see Turnus fly ? And 
is it then so very hard a thing to die ? and you, O Shades, 
be kind to me since heaven's face is turned away. To you 
I shall descend a stainless soul, and innocent of coward 
blame, a thing you hate, and not unworthy of my great 
ancestral fame. 

Scarce had he spoken thus when Saces on a foaming 
horse flies through the enemy, with arrow-wound right in 
the face, and rushes up imploring Turnus by his name : 
Turnus, in you our only hope of safety lies : have pity on 
your own. ^^neas thunders in arms, and threatens to throw 
down the towers of Latium and raze them to the ground : 
and now to highest roof the firebrands fly. To you 
the Latins turn their face, to you they cast their eyes : king 
Latinus is in doubts on whom as son-in-law to call, to 
league with whom incline. The queen, besides, your 
firmest friend, by her own hand has died, and driven to 

484 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

madness fled the light. Before the gates Messapus and the 
brave Atinas alone maintain the fight. Around them on 
both sides battalions stand in dense array, and a horrid 
crop of swords unsheathed stands up with spiky heads : 
you drive your chariot here and there on fields without a 

Confounded by this varied picture of events Turnus was 
stupefied, and in silent gaze stood fixed : in that one heart 
there keenly burns a sense of shame, mad anger mixed with 
grief, love by the Furies to distraction driven, and inward 
sense of manly worth. Soon as the shadows were dispelled 
and light to his mind restored, he turned his fiery eyeballs 
to the town in turmoil and in fear, and from his chariot 
to the city looked in all its size. But lo ! a whirlwind of 
flame rolling through the floors surged heavenward and the 
tower enwrapped, which he himself with close-knit beams 
had built, had placed on wheels, and had bridges joined.^ 
Sister, now, now, the Fates prevail : cease to contrive 
delays ; where the deity and cruel Fortune call, there let me 
follow on. 'Tis fixed, I meet ^neas hand to hand ; 'tis 
fixed, in death I suffer whate'er of bitterness there be : 
nor, O sister, shall you see me longer in disgrace. Permit 
me first I pray to rage this passion out. 

He said, and quickly from the car he bounded to the 
ground; through foes, through darts he rushes and his 
sorrowing sister leaves, and in rapid course bursts through 
the thickest lines. As when from mountain's height a rock 
rolls on with headlong speed, dislodged by stormy blasts, 
or by the furious rains washed off, or loosened by the 
lapse of years : adown the steep in mad career the reck- 
less mass is borne, and as it bounds upon the earth sweeps 
with it woods and herds and men : so through the 
scattered band does Turnus hasten to the city walls, where 

^ " Had bridges joined," /.^. to connect the tower with the walls. 

661-721 ] THE AENEID. 485 

with shed blood the earth is deeply soaked, and the gales 
with javelins hiss ; with his hand he signals and with his 
voice he shouts aloud : Forbear Rutulians, withhold your 
darts, ye Latins : the event, whatever may betide, is mine : 
it is more just that I alone instead of you should expiate 
the broken league and by my sword decide the war. 
This way and that the armies parted, and left an open space 

But yEneas, soon as Turnus' name was heard, the walls 
and towers forsakes and flings to the winds delay, all 
siege work stops, and with joy exulting thunders on his 
shield with direful stroke ; huge as Athos, huge as Eryx, or 
huge as father Appennine ^ himself, when with waving oaks 
he roars, and with proud delight heaves high in air his 
snow-clad peak. And now Rutulians and Trojans and 
Latins all turned to look, both those who occupied the lofty 
battlements and those who with the ram battered the walls 
below, and from their shoulders they laid down their shields. 
Latinus himself gazes with wonder on the mighty heroes, 
born in distant climes, as in deadly strife they meet, and by 
the sword their quarrels end. But they, soon as in the open 
plain the lists are cleared, their spears from far discharge, 
and then with rapid onset in the fight engage with shields 
and brazen arms. Earth groans : then with their swords 
they stroke on stroke redouble : chance and skill in each 
combine. And as in mighty Sila's- wood or on Tabur- 
nus'^ top two bulls engage in battle with their butting 
heads : the shepherds fly in dread : the herd stands dumb 
with fear, and the heifers are in doubt which the grove shall 
rule and which the herds obey : they to each other many 
sturdy blows deal out, and struggling with their might, 

' Appenninus, a ridge of high mountains running tlirough Uie middle 
of Italy. 

" Sila, a large wood in Lucania, abounding with pitch trees. 
^Taburnus, a mountain of Campania. 

486 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

implant their horns, and with streams of blood their necks 
and shoulders bathe : with their groans the woods resound : 
just so do ^neas and the Daunian hero tilt with their 
shields : with sound of clashing loud the sky is filled. Two 
scales in equal poise great Jove holds up, and in them puts 
the fates of both, which war consigns to doom, and whither 
death by weight inclines. Here deeming it safe, Turnus 
bounds forth, and with all his body's force on tiptoe rises to 
his sword, and deals a blow. The Trojans and the Latins 
shriek in alarm, and on the fight the eyes of both are keenly 
bent. But the untrusty sword in pieces breaks, and in act 
of striking its eager lord defenceless leaves, did not flight 
come to his aid. Swifter than the wind he flies, when the 
strange hilt ^ he saw and his hand unarmed. 'Tis said that 
in his headlong haste when first his car for fight he mounts 
in his excitement his father's sword he left behind and 
snatched Metiscus' blade : and that for long sufficed, while 
the Trojans turned in straggling flight : but when it came 
to Vulcan's arms divine, the blade by mortal forged in 
shivers flew beneath the blow, like brittle ice ; the fragments 
glitter on the yellow sand. So Turnus in dismay makes for 
the distant plain in flight, and now in this way, now in that, 
he threads his mazy rounds : for on every side the Trojans 
in closed ring surround him ; here a wide marsh confines 
him and there the lofty walls. 

With no less zeal ^neas follows, though his limbs by 
arrow-wound made slow sometimes retard his speed, and 
with glowing ardour foot on foot pursues the trembling 
foe. As when a hound finding a stag by river barred, or 
by the purple scare enclosed, pursues with nimble foot 
and barking loud, the other by the snares alarmed and the 
steep bank, backward and forward flies a thousand ways : 
but the Umbrian hangs on him, and now, even now he 

^ He struck with the sword of Metiscus, not his own. 

722-7SS] THE AENEID. 487 

grasps him and snaps his teeth, as if in act of seizing, but 
is baffled by a fruitless bite. Then indeed loud shouts 
arise and banks and pools around re-echo, and all heaven 
thunders with uproar. He as he flies chides the Rutulians, 
calling each by name and earnestly demands his trusty 
sword. yEneas on his part threatens instant death, should 
any one approach, and terrifies the trembling Latins, 
declaring he would raze their city, and despite his wound 
he presses on. Five rounds they in their course complete, 
and five retrace this way and that : 'tis no small prize of 
athlete's skill for which they strive, but for the life's blood 
and the life of princely Turnus. 

Here as it chanced there stood an olive with its bitter 
leaves, sacred to Faunus, a tree by sailors long revered, 
where they were wont, when from the risks of ocean saved, 
to fix their offerings to the Laurentine god, and on it hang 
their garments vowed : but the Trojans had removed the 
holy trunk, heeding not sacred or profane, that nought 
the field of battle might impede. In it still stood Eneas' 
spear : the powerful throw had fixed it there, and held it 
in the clinging root, ^neas stooped and tried to wrench 
the steel, and with the dart to reach his foe whom in the 
race he failed to overtake. 

Then Turnus by fear distracted : Faunus, I pray, have 
pity on me, and O benignant Earth hold fast the steel, if 
I have ever kept your honoured rites, while by war the 
Trojans have your sanctity profaned. He said and not 
in vain invoked the god's assistance. For ^neas strucalin'i 
long and lingering o'er the clinging root by no amount of 
strength could loose the wood's firm grip. Whilst he keenly 
strives by every means, the Daunian goddess, in Metiscus' 
altered form, runs forward and to her brother hands his 
sword. Venus, indignant that to the forward nymph such 
leave was given, approached and from the stump pulled 
out tl\e spear. They in arms recruited and in spirits raised. 

488 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

one trusting on his sword, the other fierce, and towering 
with threatening lance, noble in figure and of soaring 
hopes, stand face to face prepared to meet the struggle 
of the panting fight. 

Meantime Olympus' king, who rules the universe, ad- 
dresses Juno, as from a }'ellow cloud she views the fight : 
What now shall be the end, O wife ? what now remains ? 
You know, and say you know, that y^neas as a god is due 
to heaven, and that the Fates will raise him to the stars. 
What scheme is in your mind, or with what hopes stay you 
in the chilly clouds ? Is it seemly that a god should 
by a mortal's weapon be assailed ? or that the sw^ord — for 
what could Juturna do without your aid ? — reft from him, to 
Turnus be restored, or that to the conquered might should 
be increased? Now cease at length, and by my wish be 
swayed : let not a grudge consume your silent thoughts, 
and let not bitter cares meet me so often from those sweet 
lips of yours. We've reached the end. The Trojans both by 
land and sea you've harassed, kindled unholy war, outraged 
homes, marriage joys with sorrows mixed ; more I forbid 
you to attempt. Thus Jupiter began, and thus Saturnian 
Juno with submissive mien replied : Great Jove, well 
indeed I know you, and so it was that Turnus and the 
earth unwillingly I left : and otherwise you would not see 
me on this airy seat alone to bear whatever may befall,^ but 
by flames begirt I would in the battle stand and draw the 
Trojans on to contests which they hate. Juturna, I confess, 
I urged to help her wretched brother, and thought it right 
that for his life she should attempt still greater deeds : yet 
not that she should hurl a dart or stretch a bow : by the 
Stygian stream I swear, which cannot be appeased, sole 
solemn pledge assigned to gods above. And now I go, 
and hating battles give them up. One thing which Fate 

^ A proverbial phrase, ei|nivalent lo " suffering every thing." 

7S9-S4(^] THE AENEID. 489 

restricts not for Latium I implore and for the dignity of 
Saturn's race : that when tliey peace arrange by liappy 
nuptials —happy may they be !— that when they law and 
treaties form, you order not that native Latins lose their 
name, or that Trojans they become, and be Trojans called, 
or that they being men indeed ^ should change their speech 
and dress. Let Latium still be Latium. Let Alban kings 
through ages reign : let the sons of Rome thus by Italian 
valour rise to imperial sway : Troy has perished, and let 
it perish, name and all. 

With mirthful twinkle in his eye the father of men and 
things replied : Jove's veritable sister and second child of 
Saturn you prove yourself to be : such tides of passion in 
your heart you roll ! But come, and quell your fury, raised 
for nought : what you wish I grant, and willingly prevailed 
on, I yield to your request. The Ausonians shall retain 
their country's speech and ways, and as the name now is so 
shall it be : the Trojans in body corporate joined shall by 
degrees sink out of sight : their mode of worship and their 
ritual I will to the Latins add : and make all Latins, with 
a common tongue. The seed which thence shall spring, 
mixed with Ausonian blood, yourself shall see exalted 
above all in love of justice and of right, and none other 
race to you shall equal honour pay. "With this was Juno 
pleased and, in spirit joyed, her feelings changed. Mean- 
time she quitted heaven and left the cloud behind. 

This done, Jove, left alone, another scheme revolves, to 
drive Juturna from her brother's side. Two fiends there 
are, by name the Dirac called, whom with Megrera- one 

^ Viros — " men indeed " — is probably a touch of Juno's sarcasm, re- 
ferring to a passage in Bi<. iv. 214, 215, where /Eneas is called Paris, 
and his followers "half-men " with "women's caps and ribbons", and 
again, in Bk. ix. 617, they are called " Phrygian women, not Phrygian 

- Mcg.xra, one of the Furies, daughter of Nox and Acheron. 

490 THE AENEID. [Book xir. 

"uncanny" night brought forth in triple birth, and girt 
with equal coils of serpents, and gave them wings of wind. 
These at the throne and door of Jove, when wroth, await, 
and terror in the minds of mortals whet, whenever 
heaven's king deals baleful death and fell disease to men, 
and guilty cities terrifies by war. One of these he sends in 
haste from height of heaven, and bids her meet Juturna as a 
sign of ill. She flies, and on the whirlwind's wings to earth 
is borne. Just as an arrow through the air is driven which 
dipped in poison's gall, a shaft which none can cure, shot 
from some Parthian or Cydonian bow, flies hissing and 
unseen athwart the fleeting air; such did the child of 
Night shoot from the sky and earthward tend. Soon as 
she sights the Trojan lines and bands of Turnus, she dwarfs 
herself at once into that tiny bird which seated on tombs 
and lonely roofs keeps up till late at night her weary hoot- 
ing : to such appearance changed the fiend flies to and fro, 
and hoots before the face of Turnus, and with her wings she 
flaps upon his shield. A numbness never felt before un- 
nerved his limbs with fear, and with the fright his hair stood 
up on end and to his jaws the voice stuck fast. But when 
at hand Juturna heard the whizzing sound and knew the 
movement of her wings, in misery she rends her flowing 
hair, and, as a sister would, with her nails her face she tears, 
and with her fists her bosom beats. How now O Turnus 
can your sister help ? or what remains to me hard-fated ? 
By what device can I prolong your life ? Can I with- 
stand such rueful portent ? Now, now I quit the field. 
Ill-omened bird, my fears increase not ; I know your wing- 
stroke, and the death-knell of your notes : the stern com- 
mands of high-souled Jove ^ escape me not. Gives he this 
return for my virginity ? "W'hy immortal life bestow ? why 
the law of death remove? Would that such toils I now 

^ " High-souled " is used in Ijitter irony. 

847-911] THE AENEID. 49 1 

could close, and attend my luckless brother through the 
Shades below. I immortal ? or, which of my pursuits 
will give me pleasure without you, my brother? 'What part 
of earth for me will yawn so deep as send a goddess to the 
nether Shades ! So saying, her head she covered with an 
azure veil, and with piteous moans she plunged into the 
river's depths. 

^neas, on his part, presses on his foe, and brandishes 
his spear, huge as a tree, and with relentless heart thus 
speaks : What next delay retards you ? or wh}-, O Turnus, 
do you now draw back ? No more in speed of foot must 
we contend, but with bitter weapons hand to hand. Change 
into every shape, and summon all your powers of courage 
or of cunning ■} wish to reach the stars on wings, or shut in 
depths of earth to hide. He shook his head : Your brag- 
gart words affright me not, you bully : the gods and hostile 
Jove alarm me. He said no more, but looking round he 
spied a mighty stone, time-worn and huge, which long 
on one spot had lain, set as a land-mark to distinguish 
field from field : it on their shoulders twelve stout men 
could scarcely bear, such men as earth brings forth in 
" these degenerate days." He caught it up with nervous 
hand and at .^neas hurled it, rising to the throw, and 
hurrying forward. But his former self he seems not,- as he 
runs or slowly moves, or as his hands he lifts and hurls the 
massy stone : he totters, and with chilling shudder his 
freezing blood congeals. And then the stone he cast, 
whirling through the empty void, nor reached the length he 
meant, nor yet drove home the blow. And as in dreams 
when languid sleep has shut the eyes to light, we seem 
intent a path to track, wished for in vain, and midst our 
efforts faint and fail : the tongue denies its use, nor in our 

^ The word foi- " cunning " may also mean " skill, 
itself is used in English. 

" /.if., he feels the loss of his wonted strength. 

49-2 THE AENEID. [Book xii. 

frame the wonted strength remains, and neither sound nor 
^Yords come at our call : just so to Turnus by whatever 
means he tried, the cursed fiend denies success. Then 
various feelings in his heart are stirred : to the city and 
his troops he looks, and hesitates through fear, and trembles 
for the dart's approach : nor sees he how he may escape, 
nor how make head against his foe, nor anywhere per- 
ceives his chariot and his sister charioteer. As thus he 
doubts, ^neas brandishes the dart of fate, and marking a 
chance from far he hurls the spear with all his might. 
Never did stone from engine flung go forth with such a 
roar, nor from the thunder burst such deafening peals. 
Terrible as whirlwind flies the spear with dire destruction 
armed, and through the corslet's edge it tears and outer 
circles of the sevenfold shield. Right through his thigh it 
passed with grating sound. Down to earth the mighty 
Turnus sinks on bended knees. 

With sorrow's universal groan the Rutules rise and all 
the hills around the moans re-echo, and the far off woods 
return the sound of woe. He suppliant, with a humbled 
look, extends imploring hand : I have, indeed, he says, 
deserved my doom, nor do I deprecate your wrath ; your 
right of war enjoy. If you ha\'e any feeling for my wretched 
father — such to you too was your sire Anchises — pity I 
pray the frail old age of Daunus, and me, or, if you wish 
it rather, this body reft of life, to my kin restore. You 
have victor proved, and the Ausonians have seen me stretch 
my vanquished hands : the bride Lavinia is yours : persist 
not farther in your hate. Fierce in his arms ^neas stood, 
turning his look from side to side, and checked his hand : 
and now the suppliant's words had more and more his 
feelings changed, when on his shoulder top unluckily was 
seen the belt of )'outhful Pallas, and with its well-known 
studs the girdle flashed, whom with a wound Turnus had 
slain, and on his back had placed the fatal badge. Wheni 

912-952] THE AENEID. 493 

the mementoes of his bitter grief yEneas spied, and the 
spoils torn from the dead, inflamed with fury, and 
ferocious with rage, he says : Shall you escape from me clad 
in the spoils of dearest friends ? AVith this wound Pallas, 
yes Pallas, slays you as a victim, and takes his vengeance 
from your cursed blood. So saying, with furious thrust his 
sword he buries in his offered breast. But in the chill of 
death his limbs relax, and with a groan the spirit flies 
indignant to the Shades. 





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